AG - The Dirty Version      
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written by Philip Oliver    
AG, Andre The Giant, One half of Show & AG, part of the DITC and a member of the Ghetto Dwellaz now drops his solo album, but is it any different to what he’s done before as all the above mentioned appear here somewhere or other. Its an album I wanted to like a lot, after Show & AG dropped the unbelievable ‘Full scale’ EP 2 years ago I been waiting on the same caliber of material in a full length album but this is not it. It took me a while to get into this album, nearly a month, its good but its not outstanding in a way that separates it from the hundreds of releases we get every year but if you like your lyrics and beats dirty as fuck this may quench your hip hop thirst.

‘The Dirty Version’ is pretty consistent in beats and rhymes but its standouts and highlights seem to be spared throughout. Most notably on ‘Drop it heavy’ which came out on the "Full Scale" EP and in remix form on the recent DITC album. Thankfully it appears in its original form here and you get to hear KRS, Big Pun and Ag bless the track with their verses in full sparkling nice glory. ‘Muddslide’ is the albums opener and along with ‘Rude awakening’ and ‘A 2 the G’ with its thumping beat show this album shouldn’t be slept on even if its not totally outstanding or something new. ‘Do you’ is also a fast paced track that comes off well that features the Party Arty and D-flow (Ghetto Dwellaz) and is definitely one of my favorites on here.

There's a decent amount of guest emcees and producers on here, mainly DITC related but they do aid in helping to keep this album to a good standard. Production comes from Showbiz, Buckwild, Diamond and Premier (who brings the disappointing ‘Weed scented’). AG is a good lyricist, not amazing, listening to his flow you decide its simplistic but it works, extra verses from his crew the Ghetto Dwellaz, KRS One, Big Punisher, OC and Guru to name a few add an element of variety. As the Ghetto Dwellaz are AG’s main men they get more light than most on here and its shows Party Arty (Who can be a bit annoying at times, his voice sounds like something leftover from the ‘Horrorcore’ period) and D-Flow will have some promising material to come.

The ruggedness of the album is relieved here and there with the mandatory party joint, ‘Ishims’ being the main culprit here. Using a guitar lick and modified hook from Stevie Wonders ‘Superstitious’ you can tell this one was made for the radio. Elsewhere you hear ’20 cent girl’ taking a lighter sound as AG breaks down a scenario about how he finds out his girl got a girlfriend and its to his advantage. Don’t worry these ain’t gonna be in constant rotation on daytime radio, their just a little more accessible than the rest of the tracks here. Maybe if this was released as an EP it would definitely have got a higher rating, condensing the 18 tracks into maybe 8 of the best would have made this classic shit.

Although it doesn’t live up to previous efforts that AG has been front man for, (‘Goodfellaz’ ‘Full scale’ and the classic ‘Runaway Slave’) it’s a solid solo project, out of 18 tracks it has some highlights and not many low ones it just won’t be your first choice when you need your hip hop fix.

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