September 30, 2009

Big Noyd - Only The Strong (September 23, 2003)


I've decided to finish off the two-month stunt blogging experiment with the sophomore effort from Mobb Deep affiliate Tajuan Perry, also known as Big Noyd (or Rapper Noyd, or Noyd, or sometimes Tito). Some of you two may find this choice puzzling, but this has been sitting in my pile of CDs for two years now, and now is as good a time to get rid of it as any. Also, I've been told that if I write about at least four Mobb Deep-related albums during a stunt, Prodigy will personally attack me in one of his many blogs that he writes from prison. So, that's thrilling.

I'm on record as liking Big Noyd's debut album, the Episodes Of A Hustla EP. It ended up only being an EP release on Tommy Boy Records because of Noyd's prison sentence (so he didn't have time to record any more tracks), but what it lacked in marketing and promotion it gained in entertainment value: almost entirely produced by Havoc of Mobb Deep, it was really fucking good, and it was short enough to know when to end before Noyd's presence became overly annoying.

Rapper Noyd obviously lost his space on the Tommy Boy roster after his time sevred, but to be fair, Tommy Boy doesn't exactly know what to do with their rap artists anymore anyway. He signed a deal with Landspeed Records and quickly recorded his first full-length project, Only The Strong. Production was mainly handled by Havoc, The Alchemist (who had also manned the boards behind the other Mobb Deep affiliate album, the Infamous Mobb's Special Edition), and Emile, with Noyd occasionally sharing mic duties with his boys in the main Mobb duo.

Only The Strong was highly anticipated, mainly by people who seemed to forget that a little bit of Rapper Noyd went a long way, and was met with an inordinate amount of praise. He didn't sell many copies, but he did well enough to be tricked into believing that he could have a good run as a solo performer, instead of simply becoming the fourth member of the Infamous Mobb. Leaving the rest of us hip hop fans to suffer violently.

Sigh.

1. ONLY THE STRONG INTRO
This rap album intro is actually weaker than most. Which means that it sounds really really awful.

2. WATCH OUT
Havoc's beat is annoyingly peppy, which is ridiculous within the context of Mobb Deep and their cohorts. Rapper Noyd's skills behind the mic, which weren't that strong to begin with but were still enjoyable enough on Mobb Deep's The Infamous and on Noyd's own Episodes Of A Hustla, seem to have taken a long walk off of a short pier, and his gangsta threats are neither gangsta nor threatening. This can't be a good sign.

3. SHOOT 'EM UP (BANG BANG) (PART 1)
The Alchemist provides an interesting backdrop for Noyd to attempt to ruin with his inane gun talk (and before you say anything, yes, I'm fully aware that gun talk is what one should expect when a song is called fucking “Shoot 'Em Up (Bang Bang) (Part 1)”). One is left wondering what Havoc and, well, even Prodigy could have done with this monster of an instrumental. Still, Big Noyd manages to come off as decent on here.

4. SOMETHING FOR ALL THAT (FEAT PRODIGY)
I don't know what I hate more about this bullshit song: the weak beat, which doesn't appear to be sure of what party it's currently attending; Prodigy's awkwardly-paced “hook” that sucks on an elephant's right testicle as a mid-afternoon snack on any given Tuesday; or the back-and-forth between Noyd and Cellblock P, whom appear to have never rhymed ever in their respective lives. This shit is awful.

5. WE GANGSTA
I found myself not completely hating this one, clich├ęd title aside. I think it's because of Havoc's instrumental, which seems to be reaching for an audience which is entirely different than who Noyd himself is trying to appease. The contrast here is at least a little bit interesting to hear, although not more than the once.

6. BEING ON POINT (PRELUDE)


7. ALL 4 THE LUV OF THE DOUGH (FEAT PRODIGY)
Havoc's beat sounds like something fellow Queensbridge native Nas would have briefly considered, but ultimately decided against, for Nastradamus. Accordingly, Big Noyd attempts a more serious persona on the mic, and he sounds alright enough, but Prodigy's chorus immediately pulls the rug out from beneath you.

8. INVINCIBLE (FEAT INFAMOUS MOBB)
With very few exceptions, there is never a good reason to include a female vocalist on a song by either Mobb Deep or their golf caddies, whether they're properly credited on the back of the album or not. This posse cut (a contest created to determine who gets to hold Havoc's weed on even-numbered days) is relatively ineffective. Kind of a waste of everybody's time, really, especially my own.

9. WILDIN' ON THE TOUR BUS (SKIT)
Skits were never really Mobb Deep's strong suit.

10. NOYD HOLDIN' IT DOWN (FEAT HAVOC)
Noyd tries to get into the club alongside Havoc, but instead comes dangerously close to getting laughed right out of the industry. Was he really trying to get some radio airplay? Who the fuck advised him that this shit was the way to get there? At least Hav quickly drops his verse and moves on to greener pastures at the bar.

11. SHOOT 'EM UP (BANG BANG) (PART 2) (FEAT MOBB DEEP)
Cornier than its predecessor, but also catchier, and ultimately, better. Hav and P take a while to adapt to the new climate, but once they catch on, the entertainment value increases tenfold. Leaves you feeling hungry after an hour, though.

12. AIR IT OUT (FEAT HAVOC)
The Alchemist beat that both Curtis Jackson and Jadakiss (from The Lox) swiped to battle each other was first utilized by Rapper Noyd on here. Al's beat is undeniably hot, but Noyd sounds the same as he always does, making him an awkward fit. Not that Curtis sounded any better, mind you, but it is what it is.

13. HIGHER (FEAT SHAKIM)
Emile's instrumental walks that fine line between possibly interesting if I was high and as annoying as being high around someone who insists on being a Debbie Downer. And that's all I care to write, since all of the rhymes sucked balls.

14. GOIN' RIGHT AT 'EM (FEAT PMD)
Probably the strangest guest spot I've written about in a while, but various members of Mobb Deep and EPMD have worked together in the past, much to Keith Murray's dismay. Sebb's beat is alright, and Parrish Smith evokes just the right amount of nostalgia, but overall, this isn't very memorable.

15. THAT FIRE (FEAT V12)
Meh.

16. THE KID IS NICE
What the fuck is this shit?

17. N.O.Y.D.
A weak way to end an album. Thus ending the trifecta of terror that Only The Strong hangs its cap on at night.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I was a huge supporter of the Episodes Of A Hustla EP. That project was short and sweet, with almost every track connecting with the audience because, well, they had to. However, Only The Strong is a showcase of excess, with too many bloated songs recorded by Big Noyd, apparently for no other reason that because he could. Noyd can shine when his contributions are aided (read: limited) by his Mobb Deep brethren, but when by himself, his deficiencies (in both his lyrics and his ear for beats) shine brighter than the glare coming from the back of the CD as I threw it into an open field for my dog to retrieve. Only The Strong contains a couple of decent tracks, but those tracks are surrounded by an inordinate number of bricks which sink the project. As I stated before, a little bit of Noyd goes a long way.

BUY OR BURN? Mobb Deep fanatics that let this slip past them may want to burn this, but everyone else can walk on by. The man's limited appeal has narrowed his fanbase down to four people, none of whom read this blog anyway.

BEST TRACKS: “Shoot 'Em Up (Bang Bang) (Part 2)”; “Shoot 'Em Up (Bang Bang) (Part 1)”

-Max

RELATED POSTS:
Big Noyd – Episodes Of A Hustla

6 comments:

  1. word. How the fuck did people like Tradegy and Cormega never become a Mobb Deep affliate and get these beats
    ?|!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This album is straight crap..

    Yo what about some Lord Finesse reviews..?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Ok Max, nice work keeping this up for 2 straight months, now get some fucking rest and don't come back until you're ready to review Me Against The World!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. How did a Wu stan like yourself overlook Ghost's album release?

    ReplyDelete
  5. God, why does everything the Mobb and their affiliates release post 1999 sound like shit?






    Blake

    ReplyDelete
  6. I fucking love this album. Yep, Noyd is lyrically limited, and it only gets worst with each release. So considering this is his second, it's still good enough, I guess. And I also think most beats are fire. No, really. I can see why you don't like this album, so I'm not saying you're hating. I'm just sorry you can't have my (distorted, wrong maybe ?) opinion of this album, I guess. Cause I fuckin love it and enjoy it at every listen.

    ReplyDelete