If The Likwit Crew combined with Dilated Peoples, The Likwit Junkies is what you would get. That is what many hoped for when DJ Babu and Defari teamed up for their debut project The Likwit Junkies. Unfortunately, the outcome fails to live up to the standards that The Liks or Dilated Peoples have set over the years.
The main problem plaguing The LJ's album is bad hooks and bland concepts. Lyrically, Defari is still as solid as ever. However, the album runs thin on ideas, as you will undoubtedly come away feeling, you have been here before. Tracks such as "One Day Way", "Salute", "Keep Doin' It", and "Dreamgirl" all suffer from awkward sing song hooks that sound blatantly forced and out of character for Defari. Conceptually, the album also stumbles with the tiresome weed tales of "The Good Green" and "6 In The Morning".
Still, The LJ's are able to bounce back with some vintage West Coast cuts. DJ Babu's gorgeous keys on "LJ's Anthem" are able to overshadow another lusterless hook, which is sung of Noelle. Similarly, Babu laces "Change" with a nice arrangement of light handclaps and keys, while Defari delivers a strong tale of overcoming adversity. In addition, the group collaborations of "Strength In Numbers" featuring Phil Da Agony & Evidence, "One Time" featuring Krondon & Planet Asia, and "Dark Ends" featuring Rakka, are some of the album's true gems.
Overall, Babu and Defari's effort on The Likwit Junkies feels rushed and incomplete. The album lacks any cohesion, and is more or less a collection of songs with no real direction. For fans of Defari and Babu, the album has a few gems tucked in between, but in the end, we all know the duo is capable of producing a better album.