Review Summary: All Music Guide rating: 2. LOLOLOL
The ferocious murders the media are; these silly individuals decided to kill the career of one Kool "G" Rap prematurely, calling 4,5,6 a bad album. All Music Guides review states "After a three-album run with DJ Polo that stacked up favorably to any other rap act, Kool G Rap went solo with 1995's 4, 5, 6, and it's the only time he sounded as if he was running out of steam.", and throughout the rest of their short and quite sour review, they bash the album almost blindly. Uninspired production? lackluster lyrics almost everywhere? these are some of the weakest claims, and makes it seem like the reviewer listened to 4, 5, 6 and expected everything like his material with DJ Polo, when the pursuit for a new sound is particularly why he split with DJ Polo.
No doubt, there are spots that feel kinda lackluster, like the unnecessary cash bragging of "Fast Life" with one of the first appearances of Nas Escobar, a man more obsessed with seeing his own image in his watch than he is with actually rapping. But its really hard to say its completely uninspired. Most of the album is dominated by a mafioso theme, mixed cleanly with Kool G Rap's speedy flow and meshes for perfection. He takes what made Raekwon's Cuban Linx a great rap album, and molds it for himself. The use of punchlines aren't vast, but Kool G makes up for it by having one of the most complicated flows and having one of the best breath controls, allowing him to rap long time.
"Back in the days was kinda crazy kid I started out with nothin
Wasn't livin like Thanksgiving I was turkey without the stuffin
Sometimes I sweared to God that I was headed for the poorhouse
Say mama caught the drama she would bleed tryin to feed 4 mouths
Wasn't rockin Girbauds I barely had clothes and when it snowed
and temperatures droppin below zero you know I froze
No CD's a black and white TV a seat is a rubber tire
with a hanger for the antenna, turned channels with some pliers"
And to respond to the supposed poor production: where is it? "Blowin' Up In The World" has a Premier-like use of samples, and creates a fantastical and dream-like atmosphere for Kool G tells his excellently delivered stories. Some tracks work simplistically for fantastic results, like the swiping of the keyboard bass line of "Chameleon" by Herbie Hancock for "Money on My Brain", where a MF Grimm who would scare the *** out of his new self, a B1 that sounds like that guy that influenced Jay-Z, and Kool G Rap being on top of his game in attempt to out rap them. Most of the songs on 4, 5, 6 attempt to mix jazzy old school influences with the dream-like soothing backs, and sometimes takes on a commercial 90s Trackmasters route, like with "Fast Life" and "It's A Shame".
Critics make Kool G. Rap's first album out to sound awful. Don't be fooled, though, as magazine critics and 'creditable' online ones like All Music Guide hasn't been relevant to music listeners since ever. Kool G. Rap truly puts up a great effort for his first album, and the people who back him up honestly don't do a terrible job either. Picking this up despite what a lot of silly music critics say would be a good idea, and you could say, i'd highly RECOMMEND it.
*** All Music Guide.