Let the comparisons begin. When Shyne Po first stepped onto the scene, he was labeled as a Biggie clone and as Bad Boy's heir to the throne. Now four years later he is being labeled as the next 50 Cent or 2pac. It is clear that Shyne cannot escape the comparisons, but with his sophomore release "Godfather Buried Alive", Shyne hopes to build an identity of his own.
Unlike his debut album, "Godfather Buried Alive" is strictly for the streets. The album finds Shyne more hungry and determined than ever. With most of the material dating back before his incarceration, the affliction and angst of Shyne Po is never more evident than on this album. It is when Shyne releases such pain that we receive glimpses of greatness from the Brooklyn emcee.
"Quasi O.G." finds Shyne in militant rebel mode, complete with a fitting sample of Bob Marley's classic song "No More Trouble". D.I.T.C. member Buckwild provides the perfect backdrop, as Shyne gives us one of his best tracks yet. Po ferociously rips through the track, sending a message to everyone labeling him as a poster boy for Hip Hop's problems. "Secret society manipulating the dumb, deaf and blind, yet they wanna blame it on Shyne. Like I'm responsible for the country's murder rate, responsible for babies born high off base. This shit is bigger than me, I told y'all, I'm just a pawn".
Shyne's uncompromising honesty continues to take full form on efforts such as "Edge", which finds Po at his lyrical height. Or on the album's lead single "More Or Less", which is just as impressive, as Kanye West delivers one of his hardest beats yet. From one superstar producer to another, Swizz Beats comes through with a sick violin effort on "Shyne". While Just Blaze also impresses with his powerful effort on "Diamonds And Mac-10's".
While "Godfather Buried Alive" succeeds due to Shyne's gusty performance, there are some missteps along the way. "For The Record" is an unnecessary freestyling session from jail that suffers from bad quality and a recycled beat. "Godfather" and "Here With Me" are more disappointments, due to lackluster production from Yogi and Just Blaze. "Jimmy Choo" featuring Ashanti is the only R&B influenced song on the album, as Murda Inc.'s cut and paste production is extremely dated. "Behind The Walls Remix" featuring Kurupt & Nate Dogg is the definition of a filler track, as the three-year-old song was pointlessly thrown on the album.
While not perfect, "Godfather Buried Alive" should continue the hype machine for Shyne until his release from prison. With a new sense of hunger and an uncompromising truthfulness, Shyne Po just might be the next big emcee in this Hip Hop game.