Tragedy Khadafi is a Q.B. legend. Since his humble beginnings in the 80's, Tragedy has remained one of Hip-Hop's most underrated and overlooked emcees. Tragedy's key to success is his uncanny ability to portray the gritty and harsh reality of the streets while at the same time not loosing contact with them. In an industry where most emcees fabricate street tales, Tragedy has lived everything he has spit in a verse.
"Thug Matrix 2" isn't an official release for the Q.B. veteran, but a mixtape featuring some of Tragedy's newest material, freestyles and classic joints over the years. The album isn't put together perfectly, as it runs a little sloppily, but is still a nice pick up for Tragedy fans and those wanting to hear what the man has been up to the past couple of years.
And while a lot of the freestyles could have been done without, such as "Welcome To QB City" & "Dead Wrong", Tragedy's new material is definitely worth hearing, as the man is indeed back with a new sense of hunger. "Make We Wanna" featuring Littles & Capone is a straight street banger where all three emcees come off nicely. The track is an example of the long bloodline of emcees in Q.B. as Tragedy serves as the veteran, Capone the middleman and Littles as the next up and coming emcee in line. And even though the track takes a bite out of Usher's "You Make Me Wanna" for the hook, the newly incorporated gun theme makes it more of a hustler's anthem than a corny R&B rehash.
Surprisingly, the intimate and heartfelt "The Wait" also takes a bite out of another popular song, this time from the Dawson's Creek theme music. Now I know what you are thinking, Tragedy Khadafi using the Dawson's Creek theme music, what has the world come to? But don't let the misconceptions fool you, "The Wait" is one of the best Tragedy songs in years. While the hook may be taken from a pop record, it fits perfectly with the track's vibe as Tragedy spills his heart out on the track describing his mothers' addiction to drugs and his rough up brining in the hood. "Seeing your moms on the kitchen floor, not knowing that the dope she injected this time was too raw. Saw myself trapped in her womb trying to get out, consumed by this hell, flame, pain I spit out. On the day we rest may our souls be free, I ain't mad cause this world made her cold like me. I forgive her cause my mother gave us all she could, just another black girl lost and enslaved by the hood!" The heartfelt dedication to his mother is a side of Tragedy that is not often seen but one that will always produce special songs like this.
The rest of the album however, is dedicated to your typical ghetto Q.B. tales of drug slinging, gun busting and hustling. The Havoc produced "Fall Back" is more grimy, kick you in your head type street music that will certainly bump in any car. "We Do This Here" is the long awaited reunion of CNN & Tragedy, as the two sides have patched together their beef. And as Tragedy says himself "we went through our changes, but we grown now, so we put that shit in the past. And we formed, so we put this thing back together so it will be a true reunion. So the fans that loved "The War Report", they gonna love "The New Religion", they gonna love this album, and they gonna love "Still Reporting". Its great to see the two sides work together once again and hopefully they can rekindle the classic vibes of "The War Report" as they once did.
Speaking of "The War Report", the last half of "Thug Matrix 2" is dedicate to some of Tragedy's finest material over the years. Included is the classic "T.O.N.Y.", where Tragedy straight tears it up with his verse. The unreleased gem "Calm Down" featuring CNN & Nas is also included, which is another spectacular track. The track's hook, which is sung by Nas, is something we can all relate to, thug or not. "Music make this thug calm down".
While only a mixtape, "Thug Matrix 2" does a good job of brining Tragedy Khadafi back into the Hip-Hop spotlight. While he may not rank up there with the likes of Nas, Prodigy & Cormega in terms of popularity, his new material featured on this album is proof that Tragedy is making a big run to regain the streets of Q.B. Hopefully Tragedy can release a solid album front to back and finally give us what we have all been waiting for. And while the Q.B. sound may never change, it certainly never gets old and Tragedy Khadafi is living proof of that.