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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 6, 2020 | Ruff Ryders - IDJ

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released December 11, 2015 | Ruff Ryders - IDJ

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Ruff Ryders member Jadakiss dropped the "Top Five Dead or Alive" line years ago, and since it instantly became a common conversation starter for hip-hop heads, it's only right the MC reclaim the phrase for the title of his fourth solo studio LP. Top 5 Dead or Alive, the album, finds Jada offering plenty of arguments as to why he should be on everyone's list, but he also comes with a "show and prove" attitude, one that looks to convince not only the hardcore fans but the casual radio listeners as well. Old-school (Puff Daddy does his classic call-and-response on the highlight "You Don't Eat") sits right next to the current school (2015 hero Future could help "You Can See" land on hipster mixtapes) and the transition is smooth. Then Akon's trademark sound effect -- the clang of jailhouse doors -- introduces a number that actually deserves it, as the dark and dire "Y. O. (Youthful Offenders)" suggests the prison system is screwed and only breeds Old Offenders. "Jason," with Swizz Beatz, high-kicks like a dancehall champion while "Ain't Nothin' New" comes with the sheen and stately cinematic feel of a Bond theme, making Jada's "Seein' if these seven digits cheques clear/Drivin' cars that don't come out 'til next year" sound as refined and certain as 007's "Shaken, not stirred." A top-notch Lil Wayne appearance plus an unofficial Lox reunion with Styles P and Sheek Louch guesting on the LP help put this one through the uprights, giving veteran Jada one of his best and most ambitious showcases to date. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 6, 2020 | Ruff Ryders - IDJ

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 1, 2004 | Ruff Ryders RECORDS

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The most startling thing about Kiss of Death is that Jadakiss dumped a bunch of Neptunes productions and kept only "Hot Sauce to Go," one of the record's poorest tracks. This, along with a particularly ill-suited "soft and smooth track for the ladies" featuring a carted-in Mariah Carey as well as a too-familiar-sounding Scott Storch production, is thankfully the only outright blights on an otherwise satisfactory showing. These issues aside, Jadakiss makes good on his promise to become a rounded lyricist and receives some valuable help in the form of tight production work from a handful of pros -- surprisingly enough, Swizz Beatz's work on "Real Hip Hop" tops anything that producer did for Cassidy's debut, and the Red Spyda-manned title track (bizarrely tucked near the end) is Jadakiss' most vicious track yet. No matter the number of bright moments, you can't help but feel that Jadakiss has his best days ahead of him. For further proof, listeners looking to go deeper are strongly advised to seek out The Champ Is Here, a teaser mix presented by Big Mike and Green Lantern. Provided you can stomach the Will Smith version of Cassius Clay proclaiming "The champ is here!" about every 30 seconds (Jada's cackle could've been kept in check a little more, too), you should find that it's actually superior to this fine record. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 6, 2020 | Ruff Ryders - IDJ

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 1, 2009 | Ruff Ryders - Roc-a-fella

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 1, 2001 | Ruff Ryders RECORDS

In terms of sheer anticipation, Jadakiss' buzz was at an apex at the time of this album's release. While fellow LOX members Sheek and Styles flashed improved flows and lyrics on their group's sophomore strike, We Are the Streets, Jadakiss remained the group's undisputed frontman. And with the streets virtually foaming at the mouth, Jadakiss returned from the lab to birth his solo debut, Kiss tha Game Goodbye. As the last bars of Kiss tha Game Goodbye ring out, you can't help but be left with one lingering impression: kiss tha buzz goodbye. Sure, there are some bangers here: the celebratory, Alchemist-produced "We Gonna Make It," featuring Styles bubbles; the DJ Premier-blessed "None of Y'all Betta," featuring Styles and Sheek; and the gully "Un-Hunh," featuring DMX. Yet these harder-hitting efforts are leavened out by uncharacteristically smooth production, a lack of direction, and, gasp, Jadakiss' yearning for commercial love. With self-explanatory titles like "Nasty Girl," featuring Carl Thomas; "I'm a Gangsta," featuring Parlé; and "Cruisin," featuring Snoop Dogg, it becomes abundantly clear that Jadakiss is trying too hard to please everyone, with little success. But he is not the only one peeling wheels here, as the interchangeable production supplied by Swizz Beatz, Timbaland, and a host of others offers very little assistance. After jumping ship from one former label of the moment (Bad Boy) to another (Ruff Ryders), what did Jadakiss' change of address really accomplish? After all, if he wanted to go the commercial route, who better then P. Diddy to lead him there? Somewhere in the midst of all this you can be sure the shiny-suit man is smiling. © Matt Conaway /TiVo
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 1, 2009 | Ruff Ryders - Roc-a-fella

In a genre where albums frequently miss their street date, Jadakiss' The Last Kiss is an especially late hip-hop release, having been pushed back, retitled, and retooled numerous times. This problematic arrival shows too in the final product, but the problem may not be the much maligned rapper's ability or inspiration but the constant mishandling of his material. So many prime street cuts have been given away to comps, mixtapes, and soundtracks in the five years since Kiss of Death was released that only the slick, polished numbers remain, save the misleading kickoff "Pain & Torture." Two tracks later he's singing the silly "If you're real and you know it/Clap your hands" over an unsurprising Swizz Beats production, but it's "Grind Hard" that really disappoints, with the Mary J. Blige support coming off as standard. That's a first, but "What If" isn't a first at all, using the exact same structure as Kiss of Death's Nas collaboration "Why." One of the more interesting cuts, the heartfelt "Letter to B.I.G.," already appeared on the Notorious soundtrack, and the album's title is nonsense, as Jada had already declared his intention to keep going. Despite what the haters say, this is another missed opportunity for Jadakiss, a man whose best work never lands on the high-profile releases. © David Jeffries /TiVo
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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released August 7, 2001 | Ruff Ryders RECORDS

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 31, 2020 | Ruff Ryders - IDJ

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released October 18, 2019 | Ruff Ryders - IDJ

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released October 18, 2019 | Ruff Ryders - IDJ

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 20, 2015 | Ruff Ryders - IDJ

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released October 18, 2019 | Ruff Ryders - IDJ

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released April 21, 2017 | Bonzi Records

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 19, 2016 | Wigalicious Ent LLC

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released March 6, 2020 | Ruff Ryders - IDJ

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 1, 2013 | Ruff Ryders - IDJ

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 1, 2009 | Ruff Ryders - Roc-a-fella

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released January 31, 2020 | Ruff Ryders - IDJ

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