Funkmaster Flex - The Mixtape Vol. 4  
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written by Mr. Paine    
We are in a time where artists do a song for a lot of money. We are in a time where a record label will squeeze out as much profit as they can from a deceased artist until their name runs dry. We are in a time where record labels will force artists to rush an album and give the public mediocre work so they can see more money. This is a time where the music industry seems to give a rat's ass what we want and what we think. Hey it's a business, right? Well Funkmaster Flex must have said "Yes, it's a business, let's do this album." Even though "Volume III" was supposed to be his last one, entitled "The Final Chapter." I guess all the money got him hungry once again even though he has enough as it is...and this time his lackluster album failed.

The first three volumes he released were tight. A lot of freestyles and a lot of new joints. Back then these albums were bangin', they had Redman in his true prime, Canibus when he first blew up, Xzibit when he was hungry and tracks that had everyone's head moving were on these three volumes. Then came along his album with Big Kap. Not a gem, but a jewel that was made for both commercial and non-commercialized heads. So Flex hadn't turned on us yet and sold himself to hip-hop's own devil, money. Until now...we all knew this was coming.

This album starts off with a one-minute Dr. Dre Intro that must be one of the album's few highlights. And he doesn't even rap. He just talks, but I must admit that the beat in the background is something that had my head nodding the moment I heard it. But then after the beat ended I heard DMX's annoying voice on "Do You". This track is poorly produced and X's lyrics are just something short of a being a nominee for "Worst Lyrics of The Year". Jadakiss tries next and he basically fails. His voice over the beat is on point, but for some reason I don't see Jadakiss going solo.

After that we are with some Ginuwine, this is something for the ladies...a tight R&B track which probably is the best R&B track on this album and that's not saying much. Other rn'b additions include tracks from In Essence, Faith and Jagged Edge...these R&B tracks might be liked by the ladies, but for me I believe that these tracks do not possess the creativity that creates a true R&B classic, these are just fillers.

Unfortunately, there are just too many negative aspects to this release. From the Nelly, to the Murderers we're met with disappointing tracks. D-12 don't perform to any decent level, not even Eminem saves their track in my opinion. The continually dragging on, Drag-On, doesn't disappoint us but proves that he knows how to be consistent in his wackness. Lil Kim's track fails to impress me, and Nature doesn't even manage to convince me to continue listening. Three Six Mafia and Project Pat come along with the track 'Break Da Law 2001,' and, it broke various laws...I shall not kill the publics ears, I shall not create wack tracks and I shall not try to make my name famous by being on this CD which really has no reason for us to be here. Those laws were broken severely. Lady Luck also comes through to add to the lowering of the compilation's quality. She will be a has-been in about one year. Her only hit was 'Da Symphony 2000,' but besides that she hasn't impressed me since. This track only makes my opinion on her even worse.

Biggie Smalls, the illest is on it. Yeah right!!! Even with him on it does this album fall short. I don't know why they are recycling old songs and releasing them for. The more stuff I hear of Biggie now is even more ammunition for me to argue with people that Biggie was never the illest. This track with Mr C on it just doesn't fit here. Sounds more like a Lyricst Lounge II track. Not a Flex track.... sorry Flex, but who you trying to foo' by adding Biggie to this CD. Maybe the dumb-headed fans out there who think Ludacris is the next Common will be fooled. Following Biggie's track, we get the true gem on this album, which is the 'Ante Up(Remix).' M.O.P. is a group that deserves to be given proper respect instead of them being treated as if they are nobodies that shout because they are mad. Add Busta Rhymes to that mix and it flows properly.

I was shocked to find on this CD...The Bad Seed! But, his track "Uhhnhh" is by no means up to his usual standards. Ok I guess we believe that going Master P style will reach is to success. Sorry Seed, but I've heard better tracks from you but not on this track, it simply bores me.

Capone-N-Noreaga come through with a weakly produced track entitled "What Son What" (I don't know why it has that title as it does not fit with the song itself at all). Noreaga is on point for once though and Capone shows us he is the true lyricist in the group. But other than that we have a weak produced track on our hands.

I pretty much made this album sound really bad. Hey, some of you might read this and disagree with me. It's alright. We all have opinions. I feel this album shouldn't get more than two spins on your CD player. And don't try to bump this in your car; you'll only look stupid. Flex should have stopped while he was ahead. What's next? '60 Minutes of Flex Volume V' featuring whoever is hot at the moment on Hot 97 in NYC? Probably. But if it is, then it should be titled properly '60 Minutes of Crap Volume V.'

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