Album Info

October 05, 2004
Rap, Hardcore Rap, West Coast Rap

Album Review

During the early to mid-2000s, rap producer Rick Rock rose in stature quite a bit, to the point where Virgin Records gave him the go-ahead to record an album with a group of his own, Federation. The album is first and foremost a showcase for his productions, which are quite distinct as far as rap productions go. He doesn't have a production style that is as distinct as that of, say, Timbaland, Kanye West, Dr. Dre, Lil Jon, DJ Premier, or the Neptunes, but his style is nonetheless engaging in and of itself and much more varied than that of those producers, all of whom could be accused of turning out generic, if awesome, beats. Not so with Rick. There's nothing generic about his beats. Every track here on his Federation debut, The Album, is unique. For instance, as you make your way through your first listen of the album, you'll most likely find yourself curious to hear what sort of beat Rick comes up with next. And with its 18 tracks, The Album has plenty of variety. There's more to the album than just beat-making, though. Federation are a lively bunch, and they trade off verses on each track, often teaming up for the hooks. They're a hostile, crazy posse -- sort of like a West Coast Onyx or a less charismatic, small-scale Wu-Tang. There's no other West Coast rap group quite like them that comes easily to mind. They're from California, but they're as crunk as anyone in the South and as lyrical as anyone in New York. They're gifted rappers, for sure, but not reason enough to pick up this album. Nor should you pick up the album if you're looking for some standout hits. This isn't a pop album. Sure, some tracks stand out, chiefly the E-40 feature, "Hyphy," as well as a few especially clubby tracks like "Go Dumb" and "Go to Work." But there's nothing here that's gonna storm up the charts. If you're gonna go out of your way to pick up The Album, do it for Rick's productions. That's the real draw here -- genius beat-making.
Jason Birchmeier, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Intro
  2. What Is It
  3. Hyphy
  4. Go Dumb
  5. You Might See Me
  6. Hoes in Here
  7. You Don't Want It
  8. Crazy (Skit)
  9. Go to Work
  10. We Ride
  11. Ghetto Love Song
  12. In Love With a Hoodrat
  13. Donkey
  14. What if I Had a Gun
  15. Damn (Interlude)
  16. Damn
  17. Momma Dot (Skit)
  18. Mayhem
purchase full album