What the Game's Been Missing!(Def Jam)

Juelz Santana 

What the Game's Been Missing!(Def Jam)

Charisma in the rap world usually equals the strut of someone who knows he's untouch- able. Someone like Cam'ron, whose savant flow comes with the underlying message "Yeah, I'm wearing purple fur — the fuck you want?" On What the Game's Been Missing, Cam protégé Juelz Santana brings his mentor's swagger, but with a toothy grin instead of a screwface. Santana is not merely a likable dude; he manages to infuse his entire sophomore album — a CD deep with stories of crack-game tragedy and threats of violence — with an unexpected positivity. The effect is intangible, especially when the standout tracks are the "Jamrock"-biting "Murda Murda" and "Make It Work for You," a square coke anthem with Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy. But above the fray of gunfire and overdramatic strings, Santana's swagger makes him sound like the coolest eighth-grade teacher in school, especially on "Shottas" and "Daddy" (Juelz's ode to his son). At 22 tracks, Missing is a little long, but Cam'ron's crew mostly comes through again. And if they don't, Santana may have a career waiting at his old elementary school.

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