After Taxes

Artist: Sheek LouchTitle: After TaxesRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Martin. A. Berrios

As one of the few rappers to step their lyrical game up each season, Sheek still needs to prove himself. As the third member of the LOX, he has always been in the shadows of his cronies Jadakiss and Styles P. Additionally, his 2004 debut Walk Witt Me fell on deaf ears. Now with a D-Block label deal in place and an album in the chamber Louch erases the third wheel stigma with a solid sophomore effort in After Taxes (D-Block/Koch).

Sheek delivers a potent intro with “Street Music.” He uses a catchy street affiliated roll call over light violins to set the stern mood. Sheek gets a little deeper “On The Road Again,” discussing his come up as a solo artist with a detailed break down of the last two calendars. Honest lines like “Dropped my album, did around 400/ I expected double, I guess they didn’t want it,” makes the track stand out amongst all the gat busting. The album’s stand out track is with out a doubt the “Kiss Your Ass Goodbye” remix. Red Spyda cooks up some chilling pianos and thick drums while Louch puts together an all star team of Fabolous, Beanie Sigel, and T.I. While all four MC’s go hard, Beans steals the show with thin veiled jabs directed to his former State Prop members. Other joints worth checking are the Tony Starks assisted “Movie Niggaz” and the fiery 50 Cent diss “Maybe I Should Sing.”

On an album that is fifteen tracks deep After Taxes shines. Aside from a few dull attempts (like the apology to the ladies he’s done dirty on “All Fed Up” and the three forgettable skits), Louch doesn’t disappoint the streets. This will definitely hold down any LOX fiends waiting for the next group installment.

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