Review Summary: Basically, this is Freeway and Beanie Sigel charging valiantly into battle, with no army backing them up, and getting slain for it.
Obviously, Beanie Sigel and Freeway make a good tandem. After a decade of sharing the same label, the two Philadelphians have formulated some great chemistry. During their happy tenure on Roc-a-Fella, Free and Beans always saw technical success. But after Sigel’s beef with Jay-Z, things aren’t looking so good. With The Roc Boys
the old Roc Boys prove that the watchful eyes of Damon Dash and Jay-Z, no matter how scrutinizing or disrespectful, are pertinent to albums’ values. That being said, it’s not Freeway’s fault, and it’s not Beanie’s fault either. It’s the fault of a poor guest artist lineup and qualitatively inconsistent boom-bap instrumentals.
I’m uncertain as to whether this is a self-showcasing album and Freeway and Beanie are just trying to ‘prove themselves,’ but it would make a lot of sense if it is. Inherently, Freeway and Beanie are the stars of the show. Through Freeway’s loud, passionate yelp and Beanie’s defeated, gruff bark, the duo delivers clever street hop lyrics with their contrasting vocal styles.
But despite the fact that they have great chemistry, doesn’t mean they’re great chemists. The formula for their beats is poor, and boom-bap isn’t a substance you want to mess around with. With displeasingly, overly-EQ’d percussion (take your pick,) simplistic productions (there are only three sounds on “Boss,”) and the front-side of the album riddled with poor cuts, this album is highly inaccessible in terms of production. On top of that, the guests list is full of poor rappers (Wale, Peedi Crakk, Jay-Z wannabe Young Chris,) and that makes it even worse.
Much to the chagrin of Beans and Free, and to my disappointment, the surrounding components of The Roc Boys
are quite subpar. Somebody should just rip the accapellas of Beanie and Freeway off of this, and remix it with better instrumentals. OHH DJ DANGERMOOOOOUSE.