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Review: La Coka Nostra – “The Audacity of Coke”
July 13, 2009

La Coka Nostra

I have a beef with the title of this mix-tape. Why people always need to take something positive and hood it up, in a awkward attempt to be clever or controversial? I don't know, don't care and don't like it.

Ok the rants over, let's get to the music. The mixtape jumps off with a pleasant surprise. Everlast goes in from the start on "Kill The Emperor", with a fiercely hard political and social tirade against the powers that be. He doesn't miss a beat. Speaking of beats, it was a bit busy on the hook, but overall it's a solid track, and exactly how you should kick off a mixtape in my opinion. Drop jaws, and make me want to rewind.

The next two tracks are just as solid, with Ill Bill killing it. Musically "Coka Moshiach" is some straight Wu Tang, Quentin Tarentino, Superfly shit with a little (much appreciated) help from Raekwon.

"Pain Gang", featuring Everlast & B-Real is less of a lyrical exercise and gets back to some good old crew rap. They walk the line between glorifying gang life and just spitting how it is. The hook gets a bit old, but the song still bangs.

As hard as the album started off, I wasn't ready to be so quickly let down. Filler tracks fill the bulk of the rest of this album, with some gems sprinkled in. They didn't have my head rocking until 4 tracks later with a remix of Nas' "Made You Look". Here the La Coka Nostra crew goes in for three tracks straight.

"Bang Bang" featuring Snoop Dogg, sounds to me like a classic west coast track and it was begging for the Snoop feature. It blurs the line between banger music and smoking music. A nice change of pace on an otherwise very aggressive track line up.

Vinnie Paz of Jedi Mind Tricks is featured on "Habitat Of The Gasmask". I mess with Vinnie whenever he guest spots on a track. Like Immortal Technique his voice and delivery is so harsh it could weigh you down trying to listen to full album, but when used in moderation Vinnie only improves a track he's on. The beat is east coast underground and hearing the LCN crew rock with it was a promising sign, showing they are versatile and won't fall victim to region haters.

Slaine closes out the album with 3 tracks that would be better on his own EP. They just don't stand on their own. Alone they're cool, but as part of this mixtape, sound out of place and make him look like the weak link. Which isn't the case, but the track line up on "Audacity of Coke" is all off.

"Going Out In a Blaze" fizzled out like a match. "Nature Of The Beast" was anything but beastly. "Beware of The Pale Horse" was bland. Everything else is pretty OK.

"Audacity of Coke" starts off too hard to keep up that tempo. Listening to the album in reverse though, is a good move. You'll find the progression from MC'ing to Rapping back to MC'ing is more appreciated, as the beats, lyrics, and subject matter get increasingly heavier. Outside of rethinking how they put albums together LCN has me eagerly anticipating their official album.

In response to Slaughterhouse, everyone's putting together super groups, and most will fail. But LCN looks like they may stand tall. Is it worth the money? Hell yeah, but wait. This grimey mixtape gem is free. Get at them and judge for yourself.

http://tinyurl.com/l9hmq2

★★★★☆


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