Big Noyd: Illustrious

Whether it has been personal troubles, bankrupt record labels, bids up north or stellar verses, Big Noyd has seen it all. He has been known to make a splash on anything he does; his introductory verse on Mobb Deep’s classic “Give Up The Goods” would be proof of that. Not only one for features, Big Noyd has quietly made a solid solo library collection of street albums that have been rather well received. Executively produced by M.O.P’s Lil Fame, Illustrious (KOCH) is on the same track of his previous work and gives his fans that Queensbridge street sound that they crave.

"This is for my hustlers / Ballin' / Ni***s snitchin’ / Watch how you roll" is how the album opens with the soulfully produced "Snitches." The anti-rat anthem gives you a good presentation on how things proceed. Noyd really goes off on “Heartless;” as he hits the track a hundred miles and running and doesn’t stop. There are times where he seems to channel Big Pun on the track through his insane breath control skills. Noyd’s microphone presence never wanes while rhyming at such a pace.

The single "Things Done Changed” featuring Kira arrives in the middle of the album, with Noyd reminiscing about the past, much like B.I.G.’s Ready To Die hit of the same name. The difference is this song is at a slower tempo than the Biggie’s. The best song comes in the gritty Joell Ortiz collaboration "Ghetto;” as it encompasses the entire album in three minutes with both MC’s delivering powerful hood narratives. Horns blare behind their bars surrounding their vocals in a hood hero quality.

This effort is close to being the best in his catalogue, but has a few things holding it back. Surrounded by quality songs there are some that come off a tad forgettable such as "Money Talk" and "So Much Trouble.” Another problem is the end of the album. It isn’t so much what it ends on though. “Get It Poppin” as a finale catches you off guard considering songs such as the chunky piano laced "No Where Else To Hide" produced by Ric Rude would have ended everything on a better note.

These small ills aside though, this album has earned it's namesake as it is quite the Illustrious addition to his library. Anyone who is missing that genuine New York gritty sound can find it in this LP. Big Noyd has answered all the previous questions about being able to hold it down alone. There shouldn’t be any doubt that he can do it so well.

Big Noyd

"No Where Else To Hide"

Big Noyd featuring Joell Ortiz