VA - Southside Riders Volume 4
Originally I wasn't too drawn to this fourth chapter of the "Southside Riders" saga. Again, I will stress that, when it comes to Chicano Rap we should not judge a book by its cover. Volume 4 has a pretty bad front cover, I remember seeing this at the indoor swap meet in Oceanside back in the day and it definitely caught my attention because of how goofy it looked but I didn't buy it until years later like in 2010.
Familia Record's best known artist is the first on the tracklist. "The Wicked, Wicked, Wicked, Wicked" appears on three other albums ("Still Smoking" (1998?), "Natural High" (1999), and "High Til I Die" (2000)). The more I listen to it the more I dig it. Lil Rob once again displays his lyrical acrobatics over the "Jam On It" sample. Fun fact, this song includes a line that would later on become the chorus to "Those Who Talk". I haven't looked at the credits but I am positive this was laced by VMF.
It's safe to say that Royal T's favorite song is "Coast To Coast" because I've heard 4 different versions of it, this one retitled "We Be Rollin'". When I figure out how this is different from the album version and others I will write about it. Until then, This is one of the best West Coast jams of all time, and VMF's best work.
As you might know by now, I'm not the biggest fan of oldie samples. Not because I don't like oldies, but because I don't think they're properly sampled. Knightowl's "You Did Me Wrong" is no different. The next song on the playlist is by a black dude named Mr. Jinks and the song is called "Ride 4U Homie [REMIX]". Honestly I think the song is pretty gay. And not the gay meaning lame, I mean gay as is the fucking fudge packer. The song goes "I'll ride for you homie, I'll die for you homie, I'll cry for you homie, my one and only". It reminded me of the Boondocks song "Do The Homie" by Gangstalicious. Really gay.
Going back to VMF, this is probably the only time we hear from L.A.Z, another dope rapper from San Diego. This dude is a Crip from SD turned Muslim. If you've ever listened to his albums, it's dope production from VMF himself. On this song L.A.Z does the spanglish thing over a decade before The Game did it. It also contains the line that we hear at the end of "Real MF's" by Royal T ("south to the north but I represent the Trece...").
The sixth song is by N'land Clique, formerly known as Fully Strapped. This is the first time they are labeled by the name, and the song is the 3rd version of the song. The first was released a few years prior under the former name, difference is that there was 2 verses (one in the beginning and one at the end) that were cut from the second (the "Brown Pride - Homicide : Suicide" compilation) and third (this album) release, my guess is because they said "nigga" quite a few times. It's a great sample of Eddie Henderson's "Inside You" if I'm not mistaken.
"Gangsta Stroll" by the Pride almost feels put of place in the mix. Following that song is Eastside Clique's "Party Crashers" which has an incredible instrumental, but like most of their songs, the rapping is subpar. "My Nigga" by Ese Daz and some black dude is enjoyable, one of the best produced songs featuring Ese Daz, reminiscent of Snoop Dogg and Jermaine Dupri's "We Just Wanna Party With You".
The tenth song on the album is by Monteloco and has a hypnotic instrumental. The way Monteloco rides the beat really makes me wonder why he didn't become a more popular emcee.
The beat for "I Came From The Pound" is the shit, sick sample of "Atomic Dogg" and "More Bounce". The rola is great, however I would say the decibels are a little low, volume on the vocals almost makes it hard to hear I.R.O.C rapping. Probably recorded in a garage or something. I love NMW but I can't dig Shorty Jay's solo music, it just doesn't do much for me, would have been dope to hear a verse or two with 100% Mexican and Latin X (the other members of NMW) in "The Good Life".
At times I fee like the producer, mixer and DJ for E/S Clic and its affiliates was held back by making music for a bunch of people who just couldn't rap if their lives depended on it, and B.I's "We Won't Stop" is a perfect example. The instrumental was killer. The sample was dope. The mixing was seamless. It's just the goddamm lack of skill on the rappers behalf.
In summary, while I was writing this, I realized that the fourth volume was not as bad as I had believed it to be. It definitely deserves a listen. If I was to rank it among the others, I would still say it's my least favorite, but that's because Vol. 3 is my all time favorite, then Vol. 2 and 1 just because they were filled with some dope tunes. Tracks 2, 5, 9 and 11 stand out the most and are a must listen.
01. Ese Lil Rob - The Wicked, Wicked, Wicked, Wicked
02. Royal T - We Be Rollin'
03. The Knightowl - You Did Me Wrong
04. Mr. Jinks - Ride 4U Homie [REMIX]
05. L.A.Z - Toda La Gente
06. N'Land Clique - Hostile Takeover
07. Brown Pride - Gansta Stroll [REGGAE REMIX] (feat. Roger S)
08. Eastside Clique - Party Crashers
09. 310 Suspects - My Nigga (feat. Ese Daz, Solo)
10. Monteloco - Get On Top
11. I.R.O.C - I Came From The Pound
12. Shorty Jay - The Good Life
13. Brown Intentions - We Won't Stop
Tags: Familia Records