Artist: CaponeTitle: Pain, Time & GloryRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Orisanmi Burton
As one half of Capone-n-Noreaga this Queens bred rhyme-slinger and his extroverted counterpart, respectively, amassed a loyal following when they debuted with The War Report in 1997. The album quietly went gold and placed the group among the litany of rappers to immortalize the Queensbridge Projects in the popular imagination of Hip-hop culture. By the time the album dropped, Capone was locked up on a parole violation. His frequent entanglements with the law only served to boost his street stock as evidence that his tough talk on wax was no act. Upon his release, and after two successful solo albums by his former partner-in-rhyme Noreaga, the duo dropped The Reunion in 2000.
With the release of Pain, Time & Glory (Pain, Time & Glory Enterprises/Fast Life), Capone asserts his new found independence. This album is unapologetically aimed at capturing the streets. While nothing heard on the 20-track LP is likely to change the game, fans of his previous work will not be disappointed. The quota requirements for club bangers, street anthems and love joints are adequately fulfilled here. Ever-present are the requisite base-heavy beats and street-savvy lines laced with 2Pacian thugisms. Combine that with guest spots from Akon, Devin The Dude, Scarface, Raekwon, C-Murder, Butch Cassidy and Peedi Crackk, and the album has some undeniable appeal.
Lookout for the Heatmakerz produced Intro which has a belligerent Capone spitting heated bars over a track that sounds like it was lifted from a Clint Eastwood Spaghetti Western. Evoking imagery of the Wild Wild West is the perfect way to kick off the action-packed album which boasts a body count that rivals Commando. Oh No may be the albums most compelling track. Capone pours out his testimonial over a dramatic track laid by Nexxus Entertainment. I put blood, sweat and tears/ for these past seven years it was pain/ now Im trying to see glory in the game.
Capone proves that he can hold his own as a solo artist with Pain, Time & Glory. But with so many similar artists getting their shine right now, he needs to develop his own voice to set him apart from the rest. Cop this joint for a quick fix of curbside debauchery but not if your looking for a timeless classic.