Review Summary: This that real hustle music, nigga – kilo rap.
When Big Noyd first hit the scene with a guest appearance, I wasn’t even born yet; when he came out with his debut album, I was nearly three; when he finally got released from prison, I was ten. You can’t really miss something you never had, right? Wrong. Because man, do I miss pre-incarceration Big Noyd. He hasn’t come up with a truly likable album since Episodes of a Street Hustla
, and Queen Chronicles
is just another example of crime rhyme done poorly. While the comprising elements of the album aren’t bad in the least, they don’t do the theme justice, and make for some pretty uninteresting, unconvincing gangsta rap.
While he doesn’t conjure up similarities (in magnitude) to the unapologetically satanic lyrics of 90’s Three 6 Mafia or the pure, straight up gangsterisms of N.W.A. – credit must be given where it is due, and Big Noyd deserves credit for keeping it street. With the resume to back it up, Big Noyd makes this album a genuine Queens chronicle, but is inconsistent in adorning his thug lyrics with the niceties of good punchlines, with only the occasional quotable (“My heart’s cold, like February,” “I make more moves than a chess player.) This is fine enough, if you can encircle your lyrics with elements to further solidify the appearance of a real street runner.
But, Big Noyd fails to do this. Agreed, the surrounding elements are nice, but they fail to compliment the thematic origin of the album, and thusly, the tree does the roots no justice. Sure, the laidback, tranquil New York production is good. The light, elegant piano sample with the occasional violin playing of Dreams
and the elevated horns and underlying, dark piano playing of Kilo Rap
help to create the relaxing environment, (which is further exemplified by Noyd’s preference of strings to horns.)
As an actual rapper, Noyd is serviceable in his craft, with his mid-spectrum voice sounding decent, not too rough or high, and his flow is steady streaming, but he doesn’t do anything creative with it and isn’t going to push the pace at breakneck speeds.
Which brings us to the question: how is this album interesting or convincing in anyway? For a gangsta rap album to be interesting, there should be some obvious strong point that suggests hardness. This album lacks the trunk-rattling or menacing beats that one bangs in their ride with a sound system; the intricate rhymes and funny gangster punchlines; or even the deep voice, high energy, or speedy flow, all of which would enforce the thuggish premise of the lyrics and make this album interesting and convincing. But, Big Noyd does the converse, and has it half-way down. His beats are good, but relaxing (and the contrast really doesn’t work) his flow was set to medium speed and the dial was snapped off and his voice is rather ‘meh’ and uninteresting, not taking a particular tone, and his lyrics aren’t always decorated with the fun comedy he has the potential to display.
However, it’s not to say this album doesn’t have its highpoints (mainly in the form of the beats [as examined in and of themselves] and Noyd’s occasional dropping of a quotable.) It’s entirely listenable, but isn’t radically engaging or intriguing, simply because it fails to be cohesive not as an album, but of the songs themselves, which is disappointing, because the album ends up being less than the sum of its parts. Better luck next time, Noyd.