Artist: Purple CityTitle: The Purple AlbumRating: 2 1/2 StarsReviewed by: Bill Zimmerman
Just like their Dipset brethren, Purple City stays on their grind. Since dropping 2005’s Road to the Riches: The Best of the Purple City Mixtapes, Un Kasa, Shiest Bub and Agallah kept releasing a stream of mixtapes and a collaboration album with French rappers called Paris to Purple City. An official debut of sorts, The Purple Album (Koch) has Jim Jones as executive producer, a more varied list of beatmakers and some outside-their-camp collaborations, but on this offering that combination makes a pretty average product.
The Purple Album manages to sound more slapdash than Road to the Riches and that was crafted mainly from songs that already hit the streets. That album showed tons of promise, The Purple Album is a disappointment. Not known for the most compelling of rhymes, Purple City drops the ball when picking beats on The Purple Album. Agallah is under used on the mic and especially as a producer, only contributing two beats that are two of the album’s best: “Picture Me Rollin'” and “Catch Him”. High-profile (in 1998) producers Dame Grease and D-Dot give so-so efforts.
Shiest Bub scores points for delivering a more laid-back flow this time around and Un Kasa is extra nice at times such as on the opener “Live Your Life” when he drops, “I’ma stay underground like Harriet Tubman/Purple City is my family, the n****s I f**k with.”
Lyrical bright spots aside, the album is packed with guests that offer lackluster contributions. Well-knowns Jim Jones and B.G. don’t bring it and the second-stringers make little of an impact. They’re unidentified in photos, and their verses usually only stand out for the ridiculousness such as when one of them claims to be the nicest since Jigga. There are also a few duds in the hook department with the most evident being the “Nick, nack, patty wack, give a dog a bone” on “Bank Roll”.
Purple City would have been better to rely more on the three core members both on the mic and on the boards. The crew can do a lot a better, and that’s what makes The Purple Album so frustrating.