Tha Alkaholiks – Firewater

Alkaholiks-Firewater Artist: Tha Alkaholiks
Album: Firewater
Label: Koch Records
Rating: 3/5


The Cognac Curtain Call

Five
albums deep, one solo effort and a career that spans through generations
Firewater is the last call for Alkaholiks. No, they are not breaking
up and as Tash says “You not goin see us on the next Beef DVD…
We just aren’’t going to record any more albums as Tha Liks .”
That is a refreshing quote for any Liks fan because Firewater
shows that they are not done and still have more lyrical ability than
most emcees in the game today. Tha Liks are some of the more talented
lyricists to come out of the West Coast which is why they are able to
provide quality Hip-Hop for people Coast II Coast.

Though
Firewater is a solid album and a decent way to end a13 year run,
it is not a good follow up of their classic X.O. Experience.
If albums were cognac X.O. Experience would be X.O., no fuck
that, Louie The XIII , and Firewater
would be V.S.O.P., maybe even V.S. Ok if anyone is not familiar with
the grades of cognac, what I am saying is that the expectations brought
about by the greatness of X.O. Experience can dilute a listener’s
appreciation for Firewater.
Bottom line, it is what it is, and it is not wack but far from great.

Firewater
starts off with a dull intro that doesn’t live up to classic Liks
humor, but leads into a “rush the bar” type banger. “Turn It Up”
is a “sip-hop” party record that can spark a savage drinking contest
right away, as J Ro challenges those who can’t hang, “…I’m getting
busier/ you only had two shots/ I’’m watchin you get dizzier.”
The drums will keep heads bouncing in true Hip-Hop fashion and the heavy
metal guitar strings, though redundant, give the song a hard feel. But
be careful, “Turn It Up” can enhance those beer muscles or worse
make someone think they can out drink a seven foot tall Irishman. A
true alcoholic might have the spins by track #3 “The Flute Song (la
la la),” so listen with caution because E Swift’s verse may make
a sober person vomit. Although Tash flexes with some lyrical calisthenics
and proclaims veteran status, “…from the pit to the booth/ Tash
is like Beanie straight spittin the truth/ six albums for proof/ a nigga’s
workin harder at it/ been doin this since Raider hats, curls and Starter
jackets.” When a vet like Swift gives G-Unit props and says “…
them niggas is nice/ don’t think twice/ I’m so cold I don’t have
to rock ice,” that shit gets under my skin because I know eleven year
olds with more clever rhymes.

Some scumbag bartender must be watering down E Swift’s cognac because
his production has clearly been watered down. “The Flute Song” is
not a wack beat but it is cartoonish, (something more suitable for The
Beatnuts) and sounds like a forced remake of “Da Da Da” In
addition to Swift’’s lackluster production he also served up
Mixed Drinks, a best of album, two weeks before Firewater
dropped. Mixed Drinks is just a display of songs that commercial
radio recognized, definitely not a “best of.””

Let’’s
get back to the review and stop beating up on E Swift, a veteran that
has provided us with enough classics to make journalists feel guilty
for criticizing his current wackness. Track #4, “Popular Demand,”
sets the album off on a consistent groove of songs that sound un finished.
Many of the beats have potential but either are missing something or
are just too busy. The album is full of fillers and lacks any classics.
Tha Liks also deliver their first official wack song ever, “Poverty’s
Paradise.” The song sounds like it was recorded in a fuckin garage,
not a professional studio. The beat is hallow and has two wack ass singers
that didn’t even make the album credits. Conscious rap is all good
for Talib Kawli but we don’t need J Ro preaching about the struggle.
In any event, Firewater gives us what Tha Liks always bring,
“… the shit you aint used ta/ I aint sellin dope or braggin bout
how many times I’m gonna shoot ya.” (J Ro)

Overall,
the album sounds effortless. Tha Liks survive solely off lyrical talent
and good Hip Hop instincts. As talented veterans they are able to effortlessly
provide us with a quality album. Firewater
is not a must cop but is definitely worth copping. It is a decent dosage
of Hip-Hop and helps flavor a monotonous CD collection. Best served
with two shots of Hennessy and a half of a splif, to get the listener’s
mind off the monotone beats and crack a laugh at their witty lyrical
brilliance.

Stand out tracks: Turn
It Up, Do It, Over Here

Wack tracks:
Poverty’s Paradise

What it’s missing:
Xzibit

P.S. This album should make
us wonder ,what the fuck happened to the powerhouse that was Loud Records?

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