Various Artists - Too Gangsta For Radio      
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written by Hugo Lunny    
I've been a fan of Death Row since it began. And over the last few years, I've witnessed the label's demise and the beginning of its reforming and attempts to regain its former status. 'Too Gangsta For Radio' is the label's latest effort to make a comeback, the last being 'The Chronic 2000.' Now, the thing is, there's one basic premise to this compilation, that is that Death Row and it's inmates hate Dr. Dre, Snoop and the people at Aftermath. I, myself, am a fan of Dre and Aftermath, however, with the diss tracks here, I can't help but smirk and enjoy some of them.

'Too Gangsta For Radio' kicks off with some guy (I believe Top Dogg) imitating Snoop having a nightmare. His girlfriend, obviously upset that her man is having problems, calls up the jail which Suge is supposedly incarcerated in, to make certain Suge is locked up. The prison warden re-assures her, and they both mockingly joke about Snoop.

One thing, which seems necessary with all Death Row's compilations (since Pac's death), is the inclusion of some of his unreleased tracks. We've all seen the bootlegs and know that there are hundreds of tracks not yet released, well, whenever Death Row wants some heads to take notice, they throw on some of these joints and people flock to listen to them. This is easy exposure and rarely leaves heads disappointed. On this compilation, they included 2Pac's 'Friends' and 'Thug Nature,' two dope joints. 'Friends' - now though people may see the title and believe that they've heard the joint before on another release, you're wrong (unless of course it was a bootleg). This joint has 2Pac riding over a sinister beat, with Pac talking about being 'friends' with women. Within the track he includes a diss to Jay-Z and Dre. But damn, this track makes you wish Pac was still around, there's so much energy here, coupled with dope lyrics. One of the compilation's highlights. 'Thug Nature' has Pac floating over a similar beat to what Michael Jackson did on the original, and rhymes about a "Thugs Nature." The hook, done by Danny Boy, basically has the original's "Human" replaced with "Thug." Not a bad track.

What I didn't really understand with 'Too Gangsta For Radio' was the addition of mediocre tracks by well known East Coast rappers. Ja Rule and his click have a joint here and so do The Lox (under the title of 'Ruff Ryders'), but neither track has any relevance to the compilation, nor is any good.

As mentioned in my opening paragraph, 'Too Gangsta For Radio' seems to basically be an assortment of tracks aimed to ridicule the former inmates and their affiliates. The best examples being 'Fuck Dre,' 'I Ain't Fuckin' Wit Cha' and 'This Is The Thanks You Get.'

'Fuck Dre' by Tha Realest featuring Swoop G, Twista & Lil' C-Style starts off with some emcee (Top Dogg) trying to get a deal with Aftermath (he's pretending to be Snoop I presume), he asks "Dre" about getting a record deal, and "Dre" basically rapes him with Dre's 'Fuck You' going on in the background. By this should we take the hint that they're insinuating Dre is gay? The hook of the joint is an imitation of the hook for 'Forgot About Dre' except what's said is "So what do you say to somebody you hate ? / Leave your body full of holes with the chalk and tape / Motherfuck Snoop and NWA / Death Row could give a fuck about Dre." The ironic thing is that they couldn't care less about him yet they can't stop insulting and talking about him. As far as diss tracks go, this one isn't too bad.

'I Ain't Fuckin' Wit Cha' by CJ Mac has a dope typical bumpy original west coast beat (quite the description). CJ Mac attributes the title 'Aftermath Killa' to himself and creates a good old straight diss to Dre. The hook basically is aimed at Dre and 'studio gangstas' "If you never been to jail, I ain't fuckin' wit cha." Hittman also gets a few lines dedicated to him including "By the way, aint Hittman gay or somethin'? And the white boy better say nothin'."

Then there's the Daz diss. 'This Is The Thanks You Get' by The Relativz featuring Nuttz. This features a short sample of 'Nowhere To Run' at the beginning followed by a typical Death Row sounding beat. The rhymes aren't particularly impressive, the only really noticeable part of the track is the hook, where they answer Ice Cube's 'Hell Low' hook with ("I started this gangsta shit / And this the motherfuckin' thanks I get?") "Oh you the niggaz that started this gangsta shit, well this the motherufkcin' thanks you get." This is the worst diss track that the compilation features.

Tha Realest also unloads some harsh words for people other than Dre etc. (but they're included) on the track 'Fuck Hollywood.' This track's intro had me laughing; everyone and their mother knows about the famous quote from the movie, The Sixth Sense; "I see dead people." Well, Death Row added their own twist to it, and had "I see gay people" put on instead. Tha Realest, as you'll hear (or will have already heard) sounds very much like 2Pac. This track has Tha Realest unleashing insults to very many people in the media. He disses Eric Benet, Magic Johnson, Eminem, Jada Pinkett, Eddie Murphy, Sisqo. Danny Boy comes in to add some soulful singing to the hook, and by guesting here to increase his credibility...?

'Too Gangsta For Radio' is of course, unsuitable for any radio airplay, hence the title. It basically clearly outlines the feelings Suge Knight and his protgs have towards Dr. Dre etc. Though there are faults and flaws with the relentless attacks (and additions of below average tracks) there is a considerable amount of enjoyable material, which also act as diss tracks. Though this won't be for everyone, a lot of older Death Row fans are likely to feel it. It's worth at least being listened to for the Pac tracks alone.

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