It only took 7 long years, but the crew that made you throw up your W's in '96 is back again. Ice Cube, Mack 10 & WC are back to cause a stir in the industry with "Terrorist Threats", but unlike their semi classic debut "Bow Down", the trio fails to deliver that same intense power and hunger.
On paper the Westside Connection have a strong message to send to the industry. They are the rebels of the West, providing their own gangsta insight on not only the record industry but the world around them. However, somewhere along the way the trio failed to strongly convey this message on wax. Maybe the 7 long years in between albums has shaken the groups chemistry, but the strong bond once possessed by the group is no longer in tact. "Terrorist Threats" offers some nice variety in song making and topics, but fails to be cohesive enough to earn a passing grade.
The group runs through issues such as "So Many Rappers In Love", where the trio discusses their hatred for the industry's watered down love rap. The correlation between an emcee's image and their record sales on "Superstar" (Double Murder = Double Platinum). And industry politics on "Pimp The System", where Ice Cube proclaims we should all pimp a CEO not a ho. And while the Westside Connection gets props for delivering some varied topics on "Terrorist Threats", the end results on tracks like these are not as satisfying as expected. Lackluster production is the main cause for concern, as the majority of cuts on the album fail to offer that hard edge usually characterized with the group. But its on efforts such as the ones mentioned above where the listener is left knowing that the group is capable of so much more. No matter how solid the track is conceptually, the group's chemistry is hardly in tact, as the trio seems to rush through the majority of the album. Efforts such as "Bangin' At The Party", "Lights Out", "Izm" & "Get Ignit" are even more mind boggling, considering most fans expected a gritty, hardcore album, not bouncy attempts at radio hits.
But all is not lost in the land of the West, as "Terrorist Threats" does manage to squeeze in a couple of vintage Westside Connection tracks. The lead single "Gangsta Nation" is an infectious Fred Wreck produced track that has had the entire country nodding their head from day one. Complete with your usual catchy Nate Dogg hook, each member delivers a decent verse good enough to get by, even though die hard Cube fans will want to cover their ears for this one. On the more hardcore tip "Call 9-1-1" and "Potential Victims" are the type of tracks we expected for this album, as the group gets a little more controversial and political. The title track "Terrorist Threats" is equally as dope, as the track features some nice scratches that add a nice change of pace from the usual west coast mold.
While the group had the right idea for about half of the album, weak production and a lack of chemistry makes "Terrorist Threats" a wasted comeback attempt for the Westside Connection. After a 7 year lay off it is obvious that the group rushed to get a finished product out, with no concerns for anything else. In all likelihood this will probably be the last Westside Connection album, and even though they went out like Mike with the Wizards, just like MJ nobody can take away what they brought to the game in their prime.