July 22, 2007

Tha Alkaholiks - Coast II Coast (February 28, 1995)


Tha Alkaholiks were coming off of their critically acclaimed (but not especially financially successful) debut 21 & Over, and were looking to expand their sound, scope, and audience, all while keeping with their party vibe and better-than-average lyrical skills. To do so, they looked in the direction of the East Coast: on their second album Coast II Coast, the talents of Q-Tip and producer extraordinaire Diamond D are tapped, while King Tee and Xzibit are made available to represent the West. Tha Liks were poised for breakout success, as the mighty Loud Records poured their all into promoting this album; unfortunately, a kiddie act who called themselves Mobb Deep would see their seminal "debut" The Infamous hit the streets less than two months after Coast II Coast, and the marketing budget would be shifted to the newer disc.

Damn shame, that.

1. WLIX (FEAT DECLAIME, MADLIB, & WILDCHILD)
This is really just a glorified album intro, but since it features actual rhyming, it gets a pass. Great job sneaking Lootpack onto a mainstream release, by the way.

2. READ MY LIPS
Tash is still one of my favorite underrated emcees. This song still knocks today.

3. LET IT OUT
Rocks the same Enter The Dragon sample as Scarface's "Game Over", but this song is fucking great. The hypnotic beat engages your mind, and you kinda wish that Jeru's video for "Ya Playin' Yaself" was actually made for this song.

4. 21 AND UNDER
In an effort to sound a little bit more socially conscious, Tha Liks present a song about the dangers of underage drinking. Instead of choosing the preachy message route, Tash and J-Ro decide to stick with the storytelling format, and because of that, this song succeeds.

5. ALL THE WAY LIVE (FEAT KING TEE & Q-TIP)
Always appreciate a Q-Tip guest shot, but the song as a whole is only okay. Erick Sermon was supposed to be on here, but was replaced with Tip after Tha Liks realized that he reused lyrics from another song. I understand the reason for the switch, but considering that these days rappers reuse lyrics every goddamn day, what would the harm have been in keeping him?

6. HIT AND RUN (FEAT XZIBIT)
Yes, kids, Xzibit did other things before MTV and the acting career took hold. Xzibit's musical output was at its pinnacle during his time as part of the Likwit Crew. It made me sad when he defected to Aftermath's stable and effectively terminated the careers of Tha Liks by refusing to include them on every X-Z album after Restless.

7. DAAAM! (FEAT KING TEE)
Still sounds as playful as ever.

8. 2014
The beat kinda sounds like Biggie's "Long Kiss Goodnight", but, just like with that previously mentioned Scarface song, Tha Liks did it first, and arguably did it best. This J-Ro solo shot proves that, while Ro isn't Tash on the mic, he's more than capable of handling a song by himself.

9. BOTTOMS UP (FEAT KING TEE)
Not great.

10. FLASHBACK (FEAT BABY BUBBAS & XZIBIT)
Successfully gives off that party vibe that Tha Liks are known for. However, this song is very meh.

11. THE NEXT LEVEL (FEAT DIAMOND D & LIL' RO)
One of the best 'last tracks on a rap album' that I have ever heard. This song rocks! It's so good, you'll want to check out some of Diamond D's other work after you hear this.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Coast II Coast is an enjoyable sophomore effort in a musical genre known for instant gratification and the need for radio singles. While none of the songs presented here would ever be played on the radio again, they still deserve your full attention. Tash, J-Ro, and E-Swift continue to establish themselves as hard-partying, fun-loving West Coast artists who aren't afraid to branch out in the name of musical progression.

BUY OR BURN? I would definitely recommend a purchase. As an added bonus, you can probably find it for pretty cheap these days. Don't hesitate; buy it today!

BEST TRACKS: "The Next Level"; "Read My Lips"; "Daaam!"; "Let It Out"

-Max

RELATED POSTS:
Tha Alkaholiks - 21 & Over

4 comments:

  1. great album! Let it out was my fave

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  2. This was always one of my favorite records. that's all I have to say.
    Thank you

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  3. I just wrote about this album on my blog. I searched for a cover image for it and got your blog. I like what I see here. Keep it up!

    ReplyDelete