THE WU-TANG CLAN AFFILIATED ALBUMS (Code:Red Entertainment) : THE STRUGGLE
The Cappadonna Album Collection - Part II
Published by Blackman_Isaac for DIJEH inc. / Works of Art
(I originally posted this review on www.epinions.com in my ID name, dr_kdj_primo ©)
Welcome Dooyoo readers to part II of my Cappadonna album collection, where I shall write a story line of 'THE STRUGGLE', Cappadonna's third rap album. In part I, I thoroughly documented on 'The Yin and The Yang' album that centred on Cappadonna's life around commercialism, abandoning the sound of the Wu-Tang Clan. Part II gives an account of 'THE STRUGGLE' that Cappadonna battled through to recover his rap career, since he sustained BROKEN GLASS injuries from his sophomore album.
In 1998, Cappadonna dropped his debut album, 'The Pillage' that remains his best solo record to date. Packed with its reasonable share of beats from RZA, advanced lyricism and tangible matter, 'The Pillage' was true to the traditional sound of Wu-Tang Clan style.
In 2001, 'The Yin and The Yang' found Cappadonna attempting to achieve success in the mainstream division of Hip Hop but the album itself was a commercial flop. While there were two classic tracks on Cappadonna's sophomore effort, a majority of tracks were whack due to grotesque production, lame guests, simplistic rhymes and terrible delivery. Tracks like "Super Model" and "One Way 2 Zion" were absolutely disastrous due to Cappadonna's lyricism falling off in monosyllabic fashion or poor execution of delivery over production. In all honesty, I really had to go through THE painful STRUGGLE of listening to that wizzy whack 'The Yin and The Yang' while reviewing it.
Since then after 'The Yin and Yang', Cappadonna spontaneously decided to abandon all his materialistic possessions to experience the harsh life of poverty. His strategy of living lowly through poverty in the streets was based around bringing himself closer to the black community within the ghetto. Feeling guilty of all the cars, clothes and jewelry he accumulated in his crib, Cappadonna aimed to battle against the materialistic culture that damaged the Hip Hop industry.
In August 2003, Cappadonna returned to the rap game with his third album, entitled 'THE STRUGGLE'. The term struggle is synonymous with pillage. Therefore, it is not surprising that Cappadonna's intention was to create a modernised version of 'The Pillage' with respect to updated lyrical content and production. In this context, Cappadonna's objective was to sound more introspective in support of 'THE STRUGGLE' that he and his BLOOD BROTHERS had to go through in the ghetto.
Cappadonna's album derives its name not only from living rough on the streets, but working as a cab driver, struggling to support his wife and kids. This activity exemplifies Cappadonna's true sympathy and understanding for the bleak imagery of poor people trying to earn a living through poverty. This is what 'THE STRUGGLE' is all about Dooyoo readers. It is an album that reflects Cappadonna's bid to return to his roots and get BACK in the rap game of real Hip Hop.
As I was in the process of drafting this review, I played 17 music tracks with close inspection of the standards of lyrics and quality of production. I selected about 9 songs as The Good because they show inspiration and combine positive elements of music in variable proportions, required to grab my attention. However Cappadonna like most rappers these days will always struggle to be consistent along the tracks and I did encounter five songs that I registered as The Bad. The rest of the cuts that I heard were either slightly above average or simply The Average from my personal viewpoint.
Nevertheless, I found 'THE STRUGGLE' album considerably better than 'The Ying and The Yang' disaster, as I shall elaborate further under WHAT I EXPERIENCED. So let's take a walk into the next section of my review and learn about the STRUGGLE that Cappadonna went through with his BLOOD BROTHERS in his LIFETIME.
WHAT I EXPERIENCED
As Cappadonna guided me through the savage ghetto, passing a group of LESBO sisters and BROTHERS shot in cold BLOOD, I strolled along 21 tracks. Following the long, rugged path of 21 official tracks, strolling past decrepit blocks beside the streets, I encountered some bonus tracks. Beyond those bonus tracks, is my documentary of Cappadonna's lifetime story, detailing the chilly imagery of his environment, quality of lyrics and musical production in synopsis presentation. My report in synopsis format is based on my analysis of Cappadonna's 'THE STRUGGLE' album in 2006 when I first listened to this CD.
1. INTRO (0:16 min) "Not a music track" - Rating not applicable
2. CAP IS BACK (3:29 min) feat. Lounge Mode - 9/10
3. ROLE OF LIFETIME (3:14 min) feat. Solomon Childs - 10/10
4. BLOOD BROTHERS (3:14 min) feat. Lounge Mode - 8/10
5. MAMMA (skit) (0:18 min) "Not a music track" - Rating not applicable
6. MAMMA (2:53 min) - +10/10
7. DO IT PUSH (3:08 min) - 1/10
8. GET AWAY FROM THE DOOR (2:58 min) feat. Inspectah Deck - +10/10
9. MONEY, CASH, FLOWS (3:20 min) feat. Remedy, Lounge Mode & Crunch Lo - 4/10
10. I DON'T EVEN KNOW YOU (2:25 min) - 3/10
11. MAKE MONEY MONEY (skit) (0:11 min) "Not a music track" - Rating not applicable
12. SEASON OF DA' VICK (3:12 min) feat. Lounge Mode - 6/10
13. KILLA KILLA HILL (3:37 min) feat. Raekwon - 9/10
14. BROKEN GLASS (2:44 min) - 7/10
15. POWER TO THE PESO (3:14 min) feat. Lounge, Wiggs & Solomon Childs - 5/10
16. LIFE OF A LESBO (3:44 min) - 4/10
17. PAIN IS LOVE (3:19 min) feat. Lounge Mode & Solomon Childs - 8/10
18. SHOW SKIT (1:00 min) "Not a music track" - Rating not applicable
19. MY KINDA BI**H (2:30 min) - 1/10
20. WE GOT THIS (4:08 min) feat. Pike, Lounge Mode & Remedy - 7/10
21. STRUGGLE WITH THIS (13:29 min) feat. King Just (KJ) - 9/10
The album gets off to a promising start as I explore the INTRO track. As it was written in the Intro of Cappadonna's book of 'THE STRUGGLE', a male politician makes a public announcement over the mic before us rap listeners. He declares '....we need a man to open our eyes, we need a man to make us hear again, we need a man to make us LIVE again....'. The man's speech is targeted mostly at people who are caught in deteriorating communities, plagued with killing and fatalities and require a ROLE model to unite them together. This interesting dialogue delivered from the tongue of the male demagogue (politician), leads nicely into the first official music track, namely the CAP Is BACK.
Yeah and so after 16 seconds of hearing the politician's speech, Lounge Mode takes over the microphone. Lounge Mode, passionately spits through the microphone to announce the "Cap is back", as I enter the second track. "Cap is back" was one of the singles that Cappadonna released from 'THE STRUGGLE' in conjunction with "Do it push".
Lounge Mode fascinates the feel of "Cap Is Back" and captivates my attention of this music track with his charismatic delivery on the hook. Meanwhile, Hip Hop producer, Calogero (real name: Calogero Amorelli) builds his momentum on the production, welcoming me with the beautiful sound of single horns, old school scratching, light drum snares and cymbals. The sound of Calogero's cymbals and single horns play smoothly in the background and they are refreshing around my eardrums. Overall, these instrumentals were made to represent the feel of the grimy streets, based on my listening experience. This is Calogero's creative beat-making for Great World Entertainment, that starts the musical story of 'THE STRUGGLE' on a positive, note.
Cappadonna spits three dope verses on "Cap is back", each equipped with advanced rhyme schemes and nice wordplay. He simultaneously combines emotion, entertaining delivery, knowledge, maturity and passion over a nice piece of production. However my favourite bars are represented by the beginning of Cappadonna's first verse that runs on superb rhyme schemes.
Cappadonna obtains his subject matter directly from the grim reality of the streets, he has witnessed as a taxi driver. With a superb display of socially conscious lyricism like this, the CAP IS BACK to become a ROLE OF A LIFETIME in rapping for the poor community.
Speaking of "Role Of A Lifetime", Cappadonna continues his ROLE in describing 'THE STRUGGLE' of the streets, spitting about this in more profundity on track 3. Cappadonna delivers this subject matter mainly for the attention of the environment he grew up in, namely '....Homicide Hill, S.I. (Staten Island), New York City....'.
In the first verse, Cappadonna lyrically paints a bleak imagery of '....S.I. New York City....' where he and his community wandered idly in '....the hallways that's gritty....'. He raps passionately about the corrupt lifestyle that he was raised in, feeling pity for himself and others who were forced to dwell in disgusting, '....burnt out apartments....'. From a lyrical standpoint, verse one is the true highlight of "Role Of A Lifetime". This is because while Cappadonna's lyrics aren't exactly complex, his retrospective subject matter is built on emotion, creative use of facts, passion and positive delivery.
In the second verse, Cappadonna gets angry, rapping abruptly and using profanity to lyrically attack the enemies he encountered back in the corrupt society of New York City. This verse finds Cappadonna stepping up his rhyming skills to a higher level, even though his choice of words still run mostly on disyllables. It is also worth noting that upon leaving verse 1, Cappadonna switches his rapping style from introspection to a more hardcore delivery in verse 2.
Cappadonna hires Solomon Childs to deliver another memorable hook that adds to the remarkable quality of Role Of A Lifetime:
[Solomon Childs - Chorus]
'The building of the most powerful dynasty
We not just any stars, whether you be a murderer
Or maybe the world just never heard of you
Go 'head and play it out, this the role of ya lifetime'
Another outstanding quality of "Role Of A Lifetime", are the beats by Calogero that play their part in meriting this track with a 10/10 rating. Calogero's art of production is cinematic and completely different from his work on track 2 and interestingly enough, it captures my feel of Wu-Tang Clan's music. In fact, the beats for track 3 sound A LOT like the kind of music RZA would craft for his Wu-Tang Clan crew and close affiliates. Calogero constructs a calm instrumental of oriental violins and crisp drum loops that remind me of the ancient atmosphere of Tibet in China.
In my opinion, MAMMA and GET AWAY FROM THE DOOR are two classic examples of fantastic tracks that are energetic and have high replay values. Thus, I merit these tracks with the top 10/10 rating and I give credit to Cappadonna for displaying his best performance here, over sick beats. Cappadonna's delivery on MAMMA is truly outstanding as a lot of emotion and passion behind his words to his deceased mother can be felt within his heart. This especially applies to Cappadonna's hook that instantly catches my attention as I can mentally feel the pain and stress in Cappadonna's tone of voice.
As Cappadonna rhymes from his heart, he pays tribute to his "Mamma" for helping him to '....write this dart....' about how she '....taught him how to read....'. Lyrically, Cappadonna complements his late Mamma for her various other contributions as a responsible parent in watching him grow up from childhood to adulthood. The mood of Cappadonna's subject matter gives me the imagination of this emcee staring up at the spirit of his mother, flying in the heavenly blue sky.
Production-wise "Mamma" is mainly violin driven with an ardent feel to its sound of music and I therefore found it magnificent for my listening experience. Calogero uses Kallo Bartok violins to produce beautiful sets of depressing violin notes, carefully tailored to suit the sweat and tears that run in Cappadonna's song. It is interesting to note that the quality of Calogero's violin instrumental is reminiscent of DJ Premier's style. Well, what better way is there to craft an emotional piece of musical to match Cappadonna's wonderful eulogy to his mum in spiritual tones?
"Get Away From The Door" possesses a more street-orientated and pessimistic feel in comparison to Mamma that I consider to be ardent and domestic. In this context, this is where the energetic production handled by Remedy (real name: Remedy) enters the equation. The production for "Get Away From The Door" commences with powerful horns sounding off in lively fashion, like action about to transpire on the streets. After 10 seconds, Remedy carries out the transition from these brass instruments to crisp drum kicks and background piano notes for an enhanced streetwise production scheme. With the dark and gritty sound that Remedy's beats provides for Get Away From The Door, I was bound to be impressed. Thus, the rap song itself harvests repeated listens from me.
Right, it's time to study Cappadonna's and Inspectah Decks' verses. In doing so, I must I STRUGGLE my way through the lyrical content of Get Away From The Door....
Yo! Dooyoo readers '....Get a away from the door. Everybody get the f*ck back...'! Cappadonna and Inspectah Deck (real name: Jason Hunter) are about BLAST their way through the DOOR with one hell of a captivating and scintillating performance.
Cappadonna covers the first verse where he raps introspectively about himself living a street life, and '....nothin' but hard times and strife....'. He expresses his concerns about the grim nature of the antisocial hood, dominated by '....crackheads goin' insane....' and questions why '....it gotta be like this....' In verse one, Cappadonna doesn't actually get lyrically complex, but his flow, passionate delivery and wordplay are gritty and reasonably entertaining to my eardrums. Furthermore, Cappadonna's breathtaking delivery of advanced rhyme schemes makes his first set of bars sound like simple, street poetry.
The second verse finds Cappadonna questioning the scenario of '....Police fightin'....' black men '....with night sticks....' and '.....ni**az carryin' ice picks....' in defence. From a lyrical standpoint, Cappadonna's performance in verse two is definitely a step up to his previous verse. This is a direct consequence of multi-syllables being present within Cappadonna's wordplay and is the part where the track picks up the most marks on Cappadonna's behalf.
However acclamation (kudos) must especially go to Inspectah Deck who steals the show with a remarkable delivery and phenomenal chorus spat over Remedy's instrumental:
[Inspectah Deck - chorus]
'Enough of your bullsh*t, my ni**az'll pull quick
Berettas and full quicks, guerillas and convicts
Armed and dangerous, bombs and bangers, kid
Stormin' the game with it, calm but anxious and
I'll whip yo a*s for this, come with the cash or it's
On with the blast and it's, gonna get hazardous
Ni**az should know by now, ni**az should know my style
Shaolin, hold me down, frontin', there goes the pow!'
Inspectah Deck executes a wonderful chorus that carries a diverse wordplay and he combines this with his spectacular delivery that effectively grabs my courtesy. His lively voice blasts AWAY though my speakers and FROM there it strikes THE DOOR of my room like hard-hitting sound waves. I consider Inspectah Deck to be among the most talented of Wu-Tang Clan soldiers. Given his natural ability to aptly switch up his lyrical flow in a small matter of seconds, his input can make any track GET better. Overall, Inspectah Deck's fantastic wordplay is majestic enough to secure the +10/10 award for Get Away From The Door.
If any rap listener is inclined to listen to a Cappadonna and Raekwon (real name: Corey Woods) collaboration, then another ill track to check out is KILLA KILLA HILL. The verses especially that of Cappadonna's give a clear definition of the pillage where '....young bloods stay flippin' them pies, lookin' for easy ways out....'. Cappadonna's hook is powerful and pure KILLA on my mindset, granting the track it's high replay value. The same applies to Remedy's production scheme that runs professionally on harpsichord keys playing steadily through ancient drum loops, nomadic bass lines and rattles. The atmospheric feel of this classic instrumental over Killa Killa Hill, resembles the sound of Romans marching like decurions and centurions where '....God rules everything around....' them. The minor let down, is the level of rhyming from both Cappadonna and Raekwon is not particularly groundbreaking.
Cappadonna's life story of 'THE STRUGGLE' on the streets comes to a graceful, closing end with STRUGGLE WITH THIS. "Struggle with this" is an inspiring track, clearly demonstrating Cappadonna's belief in knowledge, wisdom and trust that allows him to survive through hard times. Cappadonna displays his honesty as he openly declares, '....I've been strugglin' a few years, now I'm back....'.
Cappadonna puts on a spectacular show on "Struggle With This" as he combines anxiety and gritty delivery with hard-hitting lyricism and messages about real life issues. He covers the first and third verses. The concepts of Cappadonna's lyrics carries a wisdom that any sufferring people experiencing the Struggle at some stage in their life can connect to. The knowledge and wisdom that Cappadonna tries to grasp on Struggle With This is this:
****It is the difficulties, trials, temptations, sufferings and hardships one passes through that make a human complete.****
Interestingly, Cappadonna, the creator and maker of Struggle With This, also gets outperformed by a hungry guest lyricist who goes by the name of King Just. King Just, covers the second verse with an astounding plethora of metaphors, multi-syllables, punchlines, similes and wordplay to imagine his dreams of becoming a '....microphone fiend....'. The rhyme scheme for the second verse, when viewed on an Internet site suggests that King Just has the potential to be a street poet like Nas. There is a tremendous amount of passion and talent that I can detect upon scanning his rhymes. But this is more evident upon listening to the song and thus, I regard King Just to be a very underrated lyricist.
Charlie Marotta, the final producer, delivers slow-moving acoustic guitar notes complemented with fast-moving electronic bass lines and simplistic drum loops. His creative instrumental is highly impressive, bursting full of energy, fire and spirit and suitably tailored to represent the sufferings that people fight through. Overall Charlie Marotta's beat is commercial but is an ideal way to end the programme story of 'THE STRUGGLE' like credits rolling up across the TV screen.
In addition, Struggle With This harbours two hidden BONUS TRACKS. These bonus tracks represent variants of the genuine music track itself with respect to Cappadonna's lyrics. Therefore, I won't describe them in detail. One compliment I will make however is that the Bonus Tracks are brilliant and magnificent!
For all the Good that 'THE STRUGGLE' album delivers throughout its track periods, there are a few songs that register as the Bad. DO IT PUSH and MY KINDA B*TCH are two catastrophic pieces of music that enter this equation immediately with tragic displays of Cappadonna's lyrics. For example, "Do it push" sees Cappadonna double-rhyming monosyllables and using these words to spit tedious braggadocio. Cappadonna's subject matter also revolves around misogyny and his lyrical delivery is very lazy and woeful as it seriously lacks wordplay. The monosyllabic flow and simplistic execution of Cappadonna's topic about women also fails to blend with the production. The hook that Cappadonna delivers is practically useless to the concept of the song and simply tactless as it sounds tedious and meaningless:
[Cappadonna - chorus]
Do it, push..
Do it, do it, do it
The production that Soulfingaz provides for "Do it push" is.... kind of awkward and corny to my eardums. In fact, it is the WORST beat on the entire album, being based on moronic vocal samples, clumsy bass lines and uncreative, drum loops in the background. The bass lines sound like someome farting constantly and sh*tting heavily in their underwear after eating 60 tins of beans. The background vocals that comprise strange female voices are hopeless as they are unfitting for Cappadonna's flow making the overall execution pointless. This appalling and bumbling beat alone induces me to PUSH the skip button and not surprisingly, I Struggle immensely to hear "Do It Push" in its entirety.
Sadly enough, Cappadonna selected Do it push to be one of the potential singles off his album. The music video for the "Do it push track" is somewhat reminiscent of "Super Model", and I struggled to watch it.
Cappadonna's delivery and lyricism on "My kinda b*tch" are totally garbage and intensely worse than on Do it push. The rhyming is awfully simplistic and terrible and the incidence of monosyllable usage throughout Cappadonna's verses, are alarmingly monumental and HORRIBLE. In fact.... half of Cappadonna's first verse doesn't even rhyme well and just reading it on the Internet, is worse than listening to it on wax.
However even this doesn't compare to the whack-stravaganza of the chorus where Cappadonna cries out that's "My Kinda b*tch" like a crazy hospital patient. The hook is atrocious to listen to as the way Cappadonna repeats ....that's my Kinda b*tch...., pierces my eardrums like a sharp icepick!
Ironically, for all the disgraceful lyrics that "My Kinda b*tch" has to offer my eardrums, the sound of its accompanying beats is actually quite nice. D.A. (real name: A. Richards) laces a bass driven crescendo that loiters around alto level and is decorated with slow drum snares. The minimalistic bass instrumental provides an ardent feel to the musical sound of the track. In addition D.A. adds touches of faint, sparkling sounds that represents tears of joy based on my listening experience.
The low scores given to MONEY, CASH, FLOWS and I DON'T EVEN KNOW YOU are largely a reflection of the awful choruses that scratch my ears like a cheese grater. The hook on the former track is ghastly and repulsive to listen to and even makes Jay Z's whack Money, Cash, Hoes sound more lovely and attractive. The chorus that Cappadonna utters for I Don't Even Know You is EVEN worse. It sounds like Cappadonna is pinching his nose and whining '....I don't even know you....' simultaneously like a scientific nerd in high school.
The beats provided by Soulfingaz for "Money, Cash, Flows" is admittedly catchy. It is a bouncy instrumental that carries a commercial tone, with its woodwinds, synthesized bass guitars and electronic drum snares that effectively grab my attention. The same positive statement could not be said about the ineffective production for "I Don't Even Know You". This is where I am especially disappointed with Calogero, because he started 'THE STRUGGLE' with impressive production on an early series of tracks in cinematic fashion. On I Don't Even Know You however, the beats sound like Calogero was attempting to craft a remix of Nas' Dr Knockboots!
Cappadonna tries to make "I Don't Even Know" You sound interesting to the rap listener by spitting street poetry filled with as MANY multi-syllables as possible. But his rhymes fail to co-ordinate with eachother and consequently the "I Don't Even Know You" track ends up being nothing more than a filler.
MONEY, CASH, FLOWS is a posse cut where four rappers (Cappadonna and three guest rappers), take turns to spit 4-bar verses over the microphone. Remedy squanders his advanced rhyme schemes on juvenile topics about MONEY and materialistic possessions (see below). Well what can the standard rap listener expect from a song aptly and cleverly named MONEY, CASH, FLOWS?
'....Street life, drugs sh*t, money comes in bundles
Thug sh*t, and terratorial rumbles
Guns and in vintage, Don sweaters
We love phat whips, exotic b*tches, new Code:Red leathers....'
Cappadonna, from a lyrical stand-point isn't at his best on either on this track and Lounge Mode is mediocre. Only Crunch Lo delivers a substantial performance over the mic, spitting phenomenal metaphors and wonderful multi-syllables within his 4-bar verses.
There are a number of reasonably good tracks that had the potential to exceed 7/10 but were just not substantial enough to achieve the higher scores. For example, the insubstantial nature of POWER TO THE PESO is a reflection of the disgraceful execution of braggadocio rhymes from Lounge Mode and Wiggs. Lounge mode's rhyming technique in verse one is mediocre. Wiggs' spits woeful rhymes and the stupidity of his materialistic braggadocio in verse three, is total whackness to me:
[Wiggs - 3rd verse]
'Aiyo, my jewels so chunky, I got a brass monkey
With a, rock in his ear, two chips in his tooth....
Crap, crap, crap, crap..... HORRIBLE!
Cappadonna and Solomon Childs drop some nice rhymes, expressing their knowledge of how ni**as operate in the streets. Cappadonna's verse is built around conscious lyricism while that of Solomon Childs' is creative braggadocio but both artists give a positive definition of Power To The Peso. The violin-driven production from Big Mizza (real name: Q. Fiekling) is nothing particularly special as it is merely a fair execution of violin notes and ordinary drum snares.
On SEASON OF DA VICK, I enjoyed listening to Cappadonna's hardcore delivery of his story of ghetto activities on the streets, in the form of street poetry. Cappadonna's account of confronting ni**as is creatively constructed on non-stress multi-syllables that constitute his simple street poetry. In the first verse, Cappadonna adopts the character of a second person to narrate the events of Season of Da Vick that involves hood encounters with enemies. In the second verse, he switches up his rhyming technique from multi-syllables to pollysyllables. Cappadonna spits his hybrid of hardcore and poetic rhymes over a pleasant, piano driven, drum snare production.
For the first 1:30 min, the musical atmosphere of "Season of Da Vick" is pleasant and sunny until Lounge Mode storms in.... and f*cks the rest of the joint up! For the next 1:42 min, hail stones poured heavily on my eardrums in the rainy weather as I listened to Lounge Mode spit a lame thug verse. Lounge Mode adopts a tough guy persona, spitting cliche lyrics. He tries very hard to act hardcore, only to come off sounding like a pathetic imitation of Sheek Louch or Styles P. If it wasn't for Lounge Mode's obnoxious delivery of simplistic thug rhymes, I probably would have awarded "Season of Da Vick" a 9/10 rating.
To end my account of 'The Struggle', BROKEN GLASS misses out on going beyond 7/10 due to Cappadonna's seemingly tired delivery and tone of voice. Cappaonna's braggadocio lyrics and freestyles are based on advanced rhyme schemes, diverse vocabulary, similes and technical wordplay. His bragging lyrics are therefore creatively written upon my visual examination. But for some reason, Cappadonna doesn't sound too hungry on the mic. Rather, his vocal expression sounds like he is recovering from injuries caused by Broken glass, struggling to rap with subsidising pain.
However, the beautiful production by Quasi (real name: L. Connor) for Blackheart Recordings smashes through the GLASS window of my attention, drawing me in. Quasi's wonderful combination of funky clavi, minimalistic percussion and rattles, soothes my mind with sanity. It's just a shame that Cappadonna's hunger is BROKEN away from his spectacular rhyme skills, because "Broken Glass" could have been a classic.
So I return to the verdict - where does 'THE STRUGGLE' stand between being majestic and a whack music material?. Well, on the scale of between 5 stars and 1 star, Cappadonna's album stands at a 3 star release. But the record is still slightly better than the overall rating suggests, as it leans towards four stars - see APPENDIX.
According to my experience of listening to 'THE STRUGGLE', some tracks find Cappadonna becoming contemplative about his past life as he delivers retrospective subject matter. When Cappadonna speaks lyrically for his black community including his BLOOD BROTHERS in the slums of New York, he executes his delivery in emotional fashion over sensational production.
Unfortunately, on the disgraceful tracks, Cappadonna has a tendency to get too lazy with his delivery and lyrics. On these whack tracks, Cappadonna fails to be aesthetic with his wordplay, resorting to spitting generic and simplistic rhymes. Such conditions where dreadful production schemes occur, demonstrate how Cappadonna is usually at his weakest, generally displaying his lousiest lyrical performance. The bad tracks like LIFE OF A LESBO are practically the main factors why Cappadonna's 'The Struggle' is not quite as good as 'The Pillage'. Without those, awful tracks, Cappadonna's third album probably could have been the talk of a comeback album in similar tones to Nas' 'Stillmatic' or Jay Z's 'The Blueprint'.
Nevertheless, I personally consider the fact that the CAP IS BACK in the game and great tracks like Get Away From The Door support my theory. I would recommend this album to loyal Wu-Tang Clan fans who are strong supporters of real Hip Hop. But on the contrary, the bad tracks with poor production and terrible guests are best ignored.
First album: 'The Pillage' - 4 stars (Part III of my Cappadonna series)
Second album: 'The Yin And The Yang' - 2 stars (Part I of my Cappadonna series)
Third album: 'THE STRUGGLE' - 3 stars (Part II of my Cappadonna series)
Best beats: CAP IS BACK, ROLE OF A LIFETIME, MAMMA, GET AWAY FROM THE DOOR
Worst beats: DO IT PUSH, I DON'T EVEN KNOW YOU, LIFE OF A LESBO
Best hook: GET AWAY FROM THE DOOR, KILLA KILLA HILL, PAIN IS LOVE
Worst hook: MONEY CASH FLOWS, I DON'T EVEN KNOW YOU, MY KINDA B*TCH
Best Video: CAP IS BACK
Worst Video: DO IT PUSH
Overall rating for album: 6/10
Total marks = 111, 17 music tracks * 10 = 170
111/170 = 6.5/10 = 3.25/5 = 3/5 = 3 stars
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Cap Is Back
3 Role Of A Lifetime
4 Blood Brothers
7 Do It
8 Get Away From The Door
9 Money Cash Flows
10 I Don't Even Know You
11 Make Money Money
12 Season Of Da Vick
13 Killa Killa Hill Y'all
14 Broken Glass
15 Power To The Peso
16 Life Of A Lesbo
17 Pain Is Love
19 My Kinda Bitch
20 We Got This
21 Struggle With This