Review Summary: House Of Pain no longer representing the Irish Lifestyle? No way man!!!!!
La Coka Nostra. Bringing the cocaine and the guns to hip-hop in a more lyrical form. The group consists of mc's Everlast, Dannyboy, Slaine, Ill Bill, and D.J. Lethal. This essentially started out as House Of Pain reformed. They added two more members, and decided to become lyrical while still rapping about typical gangsta rap subjects such as cocaine, guns, money, and women. They all bring skills to the mic, but each member has their own flaws. Dannyboy never raps, Ill Bill forces his voice to sound bad, Everlast has been considered a joke for the past 12 years(but he's back now) and Slaine constantly makes references to doing cocaine. What lies here is their ability to make good beats and flow on par with that of most underground rappers. Also, the guest spots are amazing.
The beats on here can be divided into 3 categories. Typical west coast rap beats, Everlast-style folk, and minor influences of Rock music. Many of the songs have great production, its just that the folksy stuff covers most of the album and it sounds like Everlast ft. La Coka Nostra. The rest of the album does shine however. Bang Bang
features a g-funk style beat with a great Snoop Dogg hook and an excellent third verse from Slaine who raps "They can blindly define me as the insomniac zombie/ Who shot ya, look at ya, you remind me of Gandhi". Everlast also brings the table here. Brujeria
is another excellent track with Sick Jacken doing a Spanish chorus and each of the mc's trading off verses as fast as they can. One of the best tracks features Southern rap legend Bun B. on Choose Your Side
he delivers an excellent first verse and a catchy hook over an Arabic-styled beat. (Might i add Everlast sounds at his best since the second House Of Pain album and does not suck on here.)
The best part of the album is the guest spots. From Bun B to Snoop Dogg to Immortal Technique, there's something for everyone here. Its got the mainstream appeal of snoop to the underground stylings of Big Left to something for fans of Cypress Hill and The Soul Assassins. They fit perfectly with the songs too. This album does have its fair share of problems. Ill Bill sounds like he's trying to be a white Freeway by forcibly making his voice gruff but he falls flat here. Also, La Coka Nostra could use more rap production instead of folk and rock beats, While all of the mc's are on point here and have been better than they ever have, Bad voices and mostly crap production lowers the score. A disjointed effort, but still pretty decent in and of itself.