Signed to Bad Boy in the mid-90’s as a founding member of The Lox, Jadakiss has seen it all. He’s from the same ‘hood as DMX and the streets love him. As one of the few artists today that recorded and toured with Biggie, Jada brings a unique perspective to the game that few rappers are able to elicit or duplicate.
The point: Jada has earned his stripes from the streets, to the beef, to the hits, to the legendary freestyles. But that being said – Does this project matter? Will it actually impact Jada’s legacy? Are people just focused on the trap and the turn up?
All those questions make this project a must listen for Hip-Hop heads regardless of if you think project deserves a rating of 7/10, 5/10 or a 10/10. Whatever you think, this project is a must listen, because if someone like Jadakiss can’t put out an album and get support, where is Hip-Hop? Remember when Jada did the Reebok commercials with Iverson?
Perhaps Jada said it best on his track “Kill” featuring Lil Wayne when he said, “As far as the rap game goes, I’m the achilles.” It is true though, what would rap be without Jadakiss, his raspy voice and his signature “HeHe!!!!”
But while the game needs Jada, on this project he showed he also needs help making the hits. To that point, Jada has a ton of features on this project. While he has taken the time to reach back to work with hot younger talent for this effort, he also focused on working with artists from his generation like Swizz Beatz, Styles P, Diddy, Akon, Young Buck and Sheek Louch.
By teaming up with Future, Wiz Khalifa and Nipsey Hussle, Jadakiss is sure to garner attention from younger fans, but is this really what you want to hear from Jadakiss? No diss to Jada or anyone on the album, but do you want to hear Jadakiss or everyone else? This is what the labels and Jada believe will sell, so this is what we get.
The list of features on the project are lengthy as Diddy, Future, Akon, Swizz Beatz, Lil Wayne, Styles P, Ne-Yo, Nipsey Hussle, Wiz Khalifa, Jeezy, Young Buck, Sheek Louch, Nas and several acts signed to Jadakiss all join this album. It’s a lot to get out just saying it. Unfortunately that leaves us wanting more from Jadakiss, but we understand the circumstances, and are happy he blessed us with yet ANOTHER solid effort.
Standout songs on the album include the Future track “You Can See,” “Y.O. (Youth Offenders)” ft Akon and “Kill” ft Lil Wayne. They all convey that Jadakiss understands where he is at in the game. Jada even gives us a 2015 version of “Why” called “Man in the Mirror,” one of the few solo songs on the 18 track effort.
The album art for this project is a sculpted bust of Jada from the shoulders up drawing from the NFL’s Hall of Fame statues seen in Canton, Ohio. Jada found a way to hold up the concept on this album of Top 5 Dead or Alive, and with so many features, its amazing it still worked. One of the greatest parts about this album is that the title isn’t a question, it’s a statement, one that we are cool with because Jadakiss means that much to the culture.