When Slum Village’s 2002 release Trinity dropped and received mixed reviews, much of the blame was hurled at the production of T3 and the extremely young BR Gunna duo (Young R.J. and Black Milk), who attempted to fill the shoes of exited Slum member Jay Dee. Predictably, the album broke barriers but lost fans for being slightly ahead of its time. Less than two years out of high school, the sprightly BR Gunna tandem has since rebounded on Phat Kat’s and Slum’s latest releases with near flawless production.
Now back with their own comp, Dirty District Vol. 2 functions as a springboard album showcasing some of Detroit’s hungriest emcees. But while flawless production defined Gunna’s aforementioned projects, Vol. 2 has some holes. Oddly enough, it’s the tracks that should bang that end up wack: J Dilla’s “Do Yo Thang” borrows the “Itz a Rap” beat Phat Kat already killed on his record. 2Pac’s ole homeboy MC Breed lends vocals to “Dats Fa Sho,” but the hook sounds more syrupy than that irksome Geico ad.
But fret not; newcomers Fat Ray, Mu and Marv Won rip shit over beats harder than steel. On “Motor Boys,” Young Miles busts wit: “Cross me/a nigga get cut more than Mateen Cleaves.” Guilty Simpson and Que D hold the mic down on several cuts before a mismatched Finale-Invincible track gets marred by a drunk friend yelping, “I want some pussy” on the hook, just after a stellar Invincible vocal. Come on!
Luckily the Dramatics come through on “Something Good” to keep that Motown vibe alive, and a lil’ dancehall even peaks out on “Number 1” with Fat Ray. Overall, 313 fans should cop this — it’s grimy, raw, hip hop from the D.
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