Ok, I know this review is late, but I like to actually LISTEN to the CD before I say anything about it. A novel concept, I know. With the mail mix-up and whatnot, it took a minute to get this one done. So with no further adieu, (or is it without further ado?) peep the review.
Memphis Bleek’s new CD “534” is a good return to the game for the Memph Man. With the ever changing roster at Roc-A-Fella, the streets are watching and waiting to pop shit! This time around Memphis Bleek comes ready for the haters with a tight CD. I’ve had it for about a week now and can say that it is one of his best CD, but still not the one true fans may be looking for.
Bleek gives a safe balanced CD here, but that might be part of the problem. It seems like he is looking for a lane to ride in. Should he rock radio cuts and R&B joints? What about the street cuts or the soul beats with lyrics? It makes the CD feel like it’s cut in fours. I would have preferred to hear more tracks like “First Last and Only” w/ MOP, “Straight Path”, and “Smoke The Pain Away” and a lot less “Infatuated” type cuts. Bleek can do the R&B/Rap thing well, but in my opinion he is better suited for the realness and posse cut type jams. Regardless, there is some major heat on this CD, anyone who can’t see that is just hatin’ to be hatin’.
“Like That” is club DJ material for days, “Get Low” is another hit for the ROC team, Just Blaze, 9th Wonder and some new producers give the CD that knock your trunk needs and I aint got to say sh!t about “Dear Summer”, you already know that’s fire.
Final Verdict—Memphis Bleek- “534” = Tight!! Cop that!
“534”- Bleek separates himself from haters and reps his hood on this Just Blaze intro. Nice start to the CD.
“Interlude”-nice segue into the hottest bonus track out this year!
“Dear Summer” – Why ask why when you get a song like this. Jay-Z showing a little love. I still like the Hot97 live version better.
“Like That”- current hit for Bleek with Swizz bringing the heat as usual! “It’s a club banger!”
“Infatuated”-Bleek is aiming at the radio with several songs on this disc. This is another one. Boxie sings the hook and Bleek spits game. Not my cup of tea but sure to bang on the radio.
“The One” is the one! Rhianna and Bleek bring that summer flavor with this one! Sure to be on Bar-B-Que Play-lists this summer.
“First, Last, And Only”- Bleek teams up with then label mates M.O.P. for this glimpse of what might have been if M.O.P would have been teamed up with Bleek more often. LaQwan Bell brings the heat with this beat!
“Get Low”- featuring Livin’ Proof-Another banger featuring Bleek and Livin’ Proof getting busy on the hustler tip with a drum filled old school beat.
“Oh Baby” -Featuring Young Gunz– Another Roc Fam sure shot! Bleek and YGz bring that BK/Philly sound like “It’s the muthafuckaing Roc!” Nice one.
“Smoke The Pain Away” This is one of the hottest joints on the CD! 9th on the beat! Denim (“Hood Legends”, “I Should Have Listened”) on the hook. “You ain’t had no Cali Kush! Ladies…GIMMIE A LIGHT!-Cali Kush got you stuck!—GIMME A LIGHT!-” That’s my joint right there!
“Hate Free”-A synthy bouncy beat that is ok but not a strong enough follow up cut to #10.
“Alright”-9th on the beat again, another one of my favorites. Bleek said that if I thought this track was hot, “the album is gonna be fire!” So far it is.
“All About Me”- Bleek rides a Mille Jackson looped beat and paints a picture of his life on this one. He revisits his old days and flips it back to current life. He deals with it all in his life and could “give a fuck what you say” if your thinking about hating on his moves. Another sleeper hit for the Memph Man.
“Straight Path” – Just Blaze hits Bleek off with the always funky “Something” by Al Green and Bleek rides it out to complete the album. A tight song, but somewhat overshadowed by other songs currently out that use the same loop and flip it a bit harder. Still a good look, regardless.