By the time I bought The Last Kiss, I had already downloaded and listened to Jadakiss’ latest mixtape, Kiss My Ass Pt. 2. I enjoyed the tape and was looking forward to what he would bring on a full album but at the same time I have heard that Jadakiss’ albums do not follow suit to the mixtapes. Personally, and I hope many agree, Jadakiss is at his best when he is just bringing it from the streets. I know, I know, how can someone who has millions of dollars and been removed form the streets for a while keeps in touch? Well I think that the best rappers are still able to do it when want to, and I think Jadakiss is high enough up there to trust his ability.
The first track Pain and Torture is very good I thought and got me very excited to hear the rest of the album. It is also one of only three tracks on the cd without a guest spot and I think that says something when one of the solo songs is one of the best if not the best songs on the album. The strings in the beat give it tempo without overpowering the darkness of the bass. Can’t Stop Me is a solid track, Jada has good flow over the beat but already the album is turning away from the hardcore sound of the opening song. Who’s Real is not a track I will listen to much more after this review is finished. Swizz Beats brings such a mediocre/sub par chorus as well as the over synthed out beat. Jadakiss tries to keep you interested but the song is almost annoying to me. Grind Hard has a solid beat, which I can get into, and Mary J’s chorus gets you from verse to verse. This song is half pop/radio hit and the other half Jadakiss kills it. Jadakiss & Young Jeezy rapping about being hard over a bass heavy makes Something Else a good song that I can imagine listening to for months and years to come.
The history and chemistry between Jadakiss & Styles P is very evident on the next song, One More Step. The trading of lines is very clever and makes the song one of my personal favorites on the album. Stress Ya featuring Pharell is overall a very forgettable track in my opinion with a generic Pharell beat and Pharell chorus and cool lyrics from Jada. I see no reason to listen to this song over any other because there are definitely much better songs than this. For any Jadakiss fan, whether you got all his stuff or not, What If should sound very familiar to his single from a different album titled Why. Yes, both songs have very clever and thought provoking questions but for me, it is too much to make 2 of these songs in one person’s career. The concept is no longer new nor original so I am not especially feeling it. I wish I could listen to Things I’ve Been Through while driving cause the chill beat and melody along with Jada’s soft voice sound like an ideal cruising track. It is worth noting that this is another one of those 3 songs without a featured guest; very strong song overall. Just past halfway through these middle songs are a nice resurgence to the album. Things I’ve Been Through, I Tried, and Rockin’ With the Best keep my attention and make sure that I do not turn the album off. Although this album is not completely cohesive, the wealth is distributed and the album is neither front nor back heavy.
Despite the R&B chorus on Smokin’ Gun it still has a hard street-esque feel, which I really enjoy. Jadakiss can make defending his girl both hard/tough and romantic at the same time through his wordplay; clever and entertaining. When you have Ghostface Killah & Raekwon on the same song, it is hard to set yourself apart even on your own album. On Cartel Gathering, Jadakiss holds his own and makes sure you know he is there even if his guests outshine him a little bit. The next track is straight hard, outside of the hook, the dark beat and angry tone of everyone involved on Come and Get Me sends a strong message. S.I & Sheek Louch contribute but are not completely necessary for the tracks overall rating. By My Side is not my favorite track but I think it takes a certain type of rapper in order to rap along side an R&B singer, especially a male one. I don’t think it requires a certain amount of talent, just a style that Jadakiss does not possess. It isn’t a terrible song but not a great track in my mind.
I first heard Letter to B.I.G. in the movie Notorious about Biggie Smalls and I was originally impressed. It is a solid tribute track to someone who paved the way for Jadakiss and other New York rappers. It doesn’t showcase anything special but the content alone makes it worth listening to especially on any Biggie tribute playlist anyone might have. It is even more special because Faith Evans is the one signing on the track, and as I am assuming some people know, Biggie was married to her for a while. The Something Else Remix follows the same suit as my review of the original version. It is a great song and I like the new verses contributed to it, but I understand if someone prefers the original cut. Finally, Death Wish, is a worse version of Something Else in my opinion. Granted, I am not the biggest Weezy fan, but there are certain types of song in which a Wayne feature works in my opinion and this doesn’t have that type of sound.
Overall I enjoyed listening to the cd and there will be times in the future when I want to listen all the way through but for the most part I will be listening to a selection of songs because as most Jadakiss albums go, it is not one cohesive thing that needs each part. I would recommend listening to Jadakiss’ mixtapes because overall I prefer those to the studio albums.Album is worth hearing and I give it a 6/10.
I will post a sampler that includes some of my favorite tracks but I will also post a link to download Jadakiss' last mixtape. Check them both out and if you like it, go buy the album!
Last Kiss Album Sample - downlo@d
Kiss My Ass Pt. 2 Mixtape - downlo@d