Kiss of Death
After three years, Yonkers bred Jadakiss has answered fans’ cries for his return. Despite his lyrical praise, neither his 2001 debut, Kiss the Game Goodbye, nor the LOX’s albums reached platinum statues. Now, with Jay out of the game, can Jada take the throne?
Kiss of Death bypasses several tracks before it comes to life with Jada’s current single “Why?” featuring the soulful crooner Anthony Hamilton. The track finds Jada questioning many of life’s unanswered questions from politics to pop-culture:
“Why would n*ggas push pounds and powder Why did bush knock down the towers Why you around them cowards Why Aaliyah have to take that flight Why my n*gga Dee ain't pull out his Ferrari Why he take that bike”
In line with the hip-hop album bylaws, “U Make Me Wanna” featuring Mariah Carey is Jada’s ode to the ladies: “Whatever she wanna push I’m find and co-sign.” Although Mariah has been batting zero lately, she laced the flute laden track with a smooth sound. Complete with a sound of straight from an old black-expo film, Swizz Beatz and Jada come to life on “Real Hip-Hop” featuring Sheek. The most silent member of the LOX comes ready for battle taking clean lyrical sucka punches: “You need a gimmick/ Go run around the block with Puff.” “Still Feel Me” finds an introspective Jada. Other strong tracks include the title track and “Getting’ It In” care of Kanye’s consistently soulful flavor.
Kiss of Death is lyrically tight. However, it’s not without flaw. Even with help from A-list commercial producers, Kiss of Death leaves room for another to take the throne. Surprisingly, despite Pharrell trading in his now saturated sound for a congo-ridden beat, his contribution does very little to even bring value to the album. His falsetto voice worked with Jay, but did little for Jada. Meanwhile, the pimped-out, psychedelic-sounding “Shine” featuring Snoop Dogg and DJ Quik just feels out of place. Although Jada holds his weight on the track, Snoop and Quik do it so well that Jada appears to be guest. room for the ‘next’ to get to the throne.
While Jada gets away from his moniker gangsta style as portrayed on his debut, for now, the throne remains open. But Kiss of Death does bring Jada within reach.