Queens MC Mic Geronimo earned respect as a Hip-Hop lyricist for his 1995 LP, The Natural. A gem worth mining, it spawned the hit singles Sh*ts Real and the moody masterpiece Masta I.C., and the album is revered in Hip-Hop as a street-certified classic. More albums followed (1996s Vendetta and 2003s The Long Road Back) but none of Mic Gs past releases have since been able to hold as much attention as his critically-acclaimed debut. Back in 2007 with Alive (Major Key/Koch), Mic Geronimo remains lyrically gifted but this album suffers due to mismatched production and repetitive subject matter. Gems on the album include the introspective Harms Way, Shot and The City, where Mic shines best as a cautionary storyteller. Lyrically he is still adept but the album suffers from trying to sound like todays mainstream Hip-Hop. Weak attempts at making club-friendly singles (All Good) as well as overhyped street stories (Robbery 101 and Click Clap) that sound predictable and dated hurt an otherwise refreshing release. Also, Mics nasal flow is better suited rhyming over the soulful What Makes You Think or the fast-paced My City (featuring Blade Brown).Although there can never be another Masta I.C., Mic Gs saving grace is his past reputation as a lyricist. Add that to the moodier, jazzy production reminiscent of the late 90s that compliments Geronimos style and there you have a winning combination. While history cant repeat itself, golden-era all-stars like Mic should continue to set trends (as they did in the 90s), not follow them. Until then Mic G is still alive but this album needs life support.SOUNDCHECK:Mic Geronimo "Shot"Mic Geronimo "Harms Way"