Highway Robbery Vol. 1 (Mixtape)

Artist: Rob JacksonTitle: Highway Robbery Vol. 1 (Mixtape)Rating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Martin A. Berrios

Rob Jackson, remember him? Well if your answer is no, then let’s play some catch up. His 2002 radio friendly single “Boom Boom Boom” (Lady May was on the remix) landed him on many artists to watch lists. Unfortunately, his formal debut For The People was indefinitely shelved by his recording home Arista Records. Now almost three years later he resurfaces on what seems to be the only forum to provide rappers with a second chance at Hip-Hop; the mixtape.

Highway Robbery (Blackout Music) is a double disc featuring freestyles and newly recorded material from his upcoming album The Rob Report. In an effort to prove himself lyrically, he sets off the tape with “100 Bars.” Rob goes off for about 4 minutes with out a hook. “Move On” is on a flossier tip, as he hooks up with the Cash Money Midas man Mannie Fresh. He advises all the fraud willies to keep it moving over bouncy synth notes. Arguably the tape’s strongest track is “Nigga Please.” Surprisingly it features both members of UGK. Rob is not to be outshined by Houston’s finest though, as he spits one of his most impressive verses: “What you got product on the street, nigga please you’re a snitch/I’ll take the Jordans off your feet, take the Gucci off your bitch/take the diamonds out your piece, take the groupies off your dick/my niggas out here moving keys, got degrees in the shit.”

Following the put my team on trend, many of his Blackout Music family are featured. On “Down The Way,” both Rob and associate Young Chu incorporate a double time flow to effectively match the speedy hi-hat driven production. Other than that, all other crew love is for naught. Featured on three songs is their female MC, Fiona Simone, whose bland lyrics add nothing to the Hip-Hop harlot genre. Another killer for Rob is the subject matter. Even though it’s a mixtape, the “shoot ‘em up die slow while I count my stacks” motif gets old fast. He also unnecessarily checks the hoes twice on “Til The Wheels Fall Off” and “Put Ya Pimpin Down.”

With a second disc full of current club favorites Rob jumped on, the thirty track long Highway Robbery is a mouthful. Though they are some admirable efforts, the unmemorable moments hold Rob back. He should consider a half short, twice strong strategy for a more effective outcome.

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