Artist: FederationTitle: Federation – The AlbumRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: Jozen Cummings
Bay Area producer Rick Rock has laced some of the finest rappers in the game
with his head-nodding production. From Jay-Z to Snoop Dogg, Rock’s mix of
southern crunk and West Coast funk has given Top 40 rappers a reason to
still be loved by the streets, so it was only a matter of time before he
brought some of his own men to the table. Enter Federation and their debut
album appropriately titled, The Album. The Fairfield, Ca trio was handpicked by Rock to add words to a collection of beats that rival any other top
producer in the game bar for bar.
Of course Rick Rock’s beats are the highlight of The Album, but Federation members Doonie Baby, Stres, and Goldie Gold prove that Rock’s draft skills are also to be admired. Federation spits gangster witticisms with enough passion to keep listeners attention throughout the album’s 19 tracks. The lead single, “Hyphy” (a combination of the words hype and fly), mixes record scratches and whirlwind sound effects with a drum pattern that sounds like a sonic spasm. Bay Area legend E-40 laces the track with his unique brand of wordplay, “They want to put me to sleep (nighty night)/but I’m gonna pull out my
s###/I’m too hyphy.”
Other stars come in to offer their help, as is the case with Twista on “What
If I Had a Gun” and Daz on “We Ride.” But even without the help of these fan
favorites, Federation’s buzz in the Bay is proof that West Coast music can
thrive on its own. Rock’s production is by far some of the most original
Hip-Hop music being created today, and if Dr. Dre wants to lie in a studio
and be picky about when he wants to drop some new s###, then fans of West
Coast gangster rap should be turning their ears towards Rock and Federation.
Simply put: The Album is gangster rap at its highest level. Stripped down to its bare essence, gangster rap isn’t about clever wordplay, it’s about effective wordplay, which Federation achieves through uncomplicated flows, and voices that emphasize the hard living experienced in the Bay Area streets.