Terrorist Threats (Capitol)

Westside Connection 

Terrorist Threats (Capitol)

Westside Connection, please proceed to the next blue courtesy phone. Hello? Yes, 1996 called and said for y'all to stop this foolishness and come on home.

Has it really been eight years since this gangsta-rap "supergroup" released Bow Down? So it has. Next question: Who the hell even asked for a follow-up? Not me. It would have been far better to let sleeping dawgs lie. The triumvirate of Ice Cube, T-Boz's husband and the Third Guy Nobody Cares About have lots of bark and no bite. Instead, they froth at the mouth with a call-to-arms that few people are going to listen to and fewer will actually heed. Cube and the gang, lamenting that rap has grown soft in the post-9/11 world, offer solutions, including (but not limited to) bitches, beat-downs, bustin' caps, ballin' and generally keeping it gangsta circa Boyz 'N the Hood. Unfortunately, the whole "live by the gun, die by the gun" thing is so last century. Plus, ever since Cube starred as Craig Jones in the Friday franchise, he's lost a huge chunk of his gangsta mystique. Without a hard-ass Cube, Westside Connection is selling mix tapes from the trunk of a car. The original talent is still intact, and the pummeling beats and vitriolic rhymes are still raw. But even as you bob your head to "Call 9-1-1" and "Gangsta Nation" and laugh at the parody "So Many Rappers in Love," it's hard to take any of the bragging seriously. Turns out you can't go home again after all.

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