Criminal Nation

We recieved this article is what we at the editorial. And maybe you do not know but we are from Holland and based in Amsterdam Southeast. We still don't know which top ten is mentioned (is there an Amsterdam Top 10 or a Dutch in general?) and we never heard the record in any system, radio or in any club. We have to apologize for fucking up because we didn't hear and still can't find any echo's of the Album on the Dutch streets. Please somebody tell us where we can find that damn Top 10.

"HHN: Criminal Nation were originally signed to Nastymix and Cold Rock Records in Seattle, Washington. You released three albums on these labels. What went wrong with these labels? CRIMINAL NATION: Well actually, Nastymix went bankrupt and we did not re-sign with Cold Rock Records."

Basically this tells the story of a strugglin’ hiphop group. I listened to the album to see how Criminal Nation would try to get back on top of things.
The first thing you notice when you play the album is the intro\skit taken from the Dogg Pound album "Dogg Food" (you know the W-BALLZ radio tuning.) After that, the tone is set for the rest of the album. You will instantly be reminded of the westcoast g-funk that made the crowd move not so long ago. I was rather surprised with this type of rap music, because the title of the group would suggest that we would get to hear a more hardcore sound, instead we got to hear that laid back westcoast sound. The kind that 2Pac was known for. I know this is a bad equation, but what the heck… We all know that 2pac (God rest his soul) was known for his emotion and that his lyrics weren’t always on point, but he had a special skill to let people feel his emotion. This is what he was known for and brought him on top. What I’m trying to say is that when you lack on a certain point, you have to try to compensate it with another "element", for example the beat, emotion, or a beat box. But now to get back to the "Criminal Nation" I find that they don’t have a real innovationg sound on their album, to use lay man’s terms: the lyrics are played out. Aren’t we all tired of "duckin’ from the 5-0" ,"We keep it smokin’ like Cheech & Chong" and "I’m an O.G. from the D.C.P.". Even the way of rappin’ reminds you of that outlaw Khadaffi. All the tracks are on the same level and it is hard to discover a favourite track. The beats are okay even though they REALLY remind you of 2Pac, for example the 2nd track 'Criminal Love' has a striking resemblence with 'It’s All About You' taken from Pac’s 'All Eyez On Me' album.
Like I said once before, it lacks originality. But if you are looking for that westcoast sound check it out for yourself. On a scale on 1 to 12 (ART12 that is ;-) I would say it’s worth 5. Probably below average.

John Dope.

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