Wednesday, February 23, 2005

RIVIERA REGIME - THUGZ OF WAR 

Album: Thugz Of War
Artist: Riviera Regime
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Wow, what can I really say about the Riviera Regime. The Regime is comprised of Klee Magor and Benny Brahmz and they're representing Finch West in North York, Ontario. As you might have already read, I bought this CD from one of the dudes in the group on the subway ride home after a beer-filled Saturday night. So I didn't really have high hopes for it, I just thought it would be some funny content. But I said I'd try and do a serious review, so here goes. But first, let me add this caveat: this album just isn't in my wheelhouse as far as the hip hop goes right now. I'm being as objective as possible, but I'm sort of biased against it from the start.

Right off the bat my objectivity is strained by the name, Thugz Of War. I guess it's not enough to be thugged out or down with war, but a combination was required. Perhaps it's a play on "Dogs Of War", I have no idea. But enough of that, I have some objectively positive things to say about the album, so let's do those first. First off, the production on here is not that bad. Considering it seems they produced and recorded the album themselves, the album sounds more professional than I expected. It doesn't sound like they've used many samples, so it's decent considering they must've programmed all the sounds themselves. And I should say they sound decent over those beats. They have pretty good flows for the most part and sound like they just might be down with both thuggery and warfare. The album almost has a dirty south feel to it at times, as on the feel-good opener Don't F@#k Wit Us, where they break out some double time rappin' styles.

But what they're saying in those flows is the big issue for me. The CD is 18 tracks long and only one track (Feelin' Fine) really offers a break from the themes of dealing drugs, doing drugs, killing you, killing your family, and f@#king them hoez. I mean don't get me wrong, as a dude who's listened to mainly hip hop for 15 years, I've heard my fair share of the sex, drugs, and guns talk. But at 30 I can't listen to a whole album of it, especially when these dudes are serious as a heart attack while they're doing it. I mean compare it to the last album I reviewed, R.A. The Rugged Man. That dude talks about some nutty stuff, but he does it with some humor.

The Regime might also want to take the Alkaholiks' advice and spend a little time with their rhymes. Some of the verses seem a little rushed and sound like fairly generic, cliched gangster talk. This kind of thing: "I'm illin' like a villain and my eyes be on the killin'" is what I'm talking about. There's also another song that mentions "Hit the LCBO to cop a 4-O" and meeting the homies at the BBQ. Sounds like they're filming Nuthin' But a "G" Thang: The Sequel in North York. But maybe they are, I have no idea. Are the players still drinking 40's? My point is this: if you must do the gun talk, do it well. Come up with something original, tell some gangster stories. I listened to this album twice and both times by about track 13 I was worn out. "I was born to get jiggy like a 60's hippy, but I'm not picky, you can suck on my dicky". Did hippies get jiggy? I thought Will Smith invented that in the 90's?

So there you have it, the Riviera Regime's Thugz Of War - perhaps available on a subway car near you.

2 Comments:

YO THIS IS THE REGIME!!! BELEIVE DA HYPE...COME CHECK US DO IT LIVE....THAT'S IF YA GOT THE BALLS... WE GONNA BE PERFORMING AT THE 5TH ELEMENT HIP HOP SHOWCASE, ALL GOIN DOWN THIS THURSDAY MARCH 3RD INSIDE THE HOOCH, 817 QUEEN ST. W. 2ND FLOOR!
SHOW STARTS @ 10PM!
CHECK OUT WWW.RIVIERAREGIME.COM AND PURCHASE THE ALBUM "THUGZ OF WAR"

By Klee Magor, at 10:34 PM  

I just baught the CD on my way to school this morning, from Sheppard to York Mills, he walks up to me, introduces himself and his album. His album(Cold Blooded) looking very well designed and put together caught my eye, but the picture of them eating kind of turned it off. But being the enthusiastic guy I am, I baught it anyways, and fully support my city and its local music. I do small time dances, throw some of my own with my tech team sometimes, ill definatly play a track or two of them just for support and to see the reaction of the crowd. Good Luck
- DJ Sylvantes

By DJ Sylvantes, at 7:56 PM  

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