The West Coast maybe dead to some, but do not tell that to the Federation. Consisting of Doonie Baby, Goldie Gold and Mr. Stres, the California trio receives some help from beat maker Rick Rock for their self-titled debut album. However, Rick Rock's contribution to the album is ultimately its downfall, as Rick's one dimensional, synthesizer production is poorly put together.
While the Federation is your average gangsta rap group infatuated with rhyming about the same tired old clichés, it is the production on their debut album that ruins their efforts. Rick Rock, who is often criticized for manufacturing generic keyboard beats, continues his tradition of making beats only die hard West Coast fans can love. The bouncy club sounds of "Hyphy", is a prime example of the type of beats you can expect on the album. Even though the underground king of Cali, E-40, makes a welcomed appearance, the track's nonsensical hook and irritating production overshadows everything else. On "You Might See Me", Rick Rock recycles his own beat he did for Jay-z's "Change The Game", giving those who label Rick's production as one-dimensional even more reason to complain. In addition, the horrendous, ear aching synthesizer production continues throughout the album on efforts such as "Hoes In Here", "We Ride" featuring Daz and "Donkey".
There are only a few cuts on the album that differ from the usual "blueprint" the Federation follows. The aptly titled "Ghetto Love Song" is a solid song that finds each emcee reminiscing about their interactions with the opposite sex. While on the other side of the spectrum, "What Is It" is a fiery West Coast anthem that succeeds to Rick's haunting beat and heavy guitar stabs. The only other notable effort on the album is "What If I Had A Gun", as Twista drops by to show the crew how to really rock with his standout verse.
The Federation's debut album fails due to a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, Rick Rock's abysmal production gives the group no chance at providing a solid and enjoyable track. Secondly, the Federation's run of the mill street tales are extremely generic and offer nothing new. Whether it is lyrically or conceptually, the Federation is unable to show any promise on their self-titled debut album. While this album may have been acceptable 10 years ago, times have changed, and the Federation needs to keep up.