This album was released on August 29th in the year of our lord 1995. I honestly did not want to listen to this album at all, but I was informed that since I covered Thug Life, it would only be fair for me to do this. Junior M.A.F.I.A. was a group containing The Notorious B.I.G., Lil Kim, Lil Cease, Trife, Larceny, Chico Del Vec, and MC Klepto. I don’t really have much experience with any of these guys aside from Biggie. I never even got into Lil Kim or Lil Cease personally. In fact, I don’t even think I’ve heard that many Lil Kim songs. Now that I think about it, I can’t name a single solo song of hers. I’m sure this album was a lot of people’s introduction to her, so I guess it’s not bad that this will also be how I’m introduced to her music. I honestly don’t really have high expectations at all because I never liked that Get Money song personally, but maybe the other tracks are better. We’ll see…
As always, I’ll write about the songs I actually enjoyed before getting into the tracks I won’t be returning to later. This album actually ended up being way better than I was expecting. The first actual song is performed by The Snakes, which is a duo containing Trife & Larceny. Even though I did have some minor gripes with this track, I still ended up really loving it. I think the production from Daddy-O & Understanding is fantastic. My main issue with this track is what I perceived to be a sizable talent gap between Trife & Larceny. Trife is really nice; he spits some super violent, ultra hard bars on this track.
I thought I told you never to trust nobody but us
Now the gats must bust, malicious black viper, venomous
There's gonna be a lot of white chalk and brains on the sidewalk
I know you hear me, nigga, talk
Unfortunately, Larceny’s performance wasn’t up to snuff in my opinion. His flow sounded kind of amateurish and awkward in my opinion. He actually reminded me of Tha God Fahim of all people, which isn’t a good thing. It’s not like his performance was trash at all though. He was okay. Trife’s performance is what makes the song worth returning to for me though. I think the track is dope, and the aforementioned talent gap kinda narrows later on in the album. I didn’t have this issue with Larceny when he rapped on Crazaay, and this actually ended up being a highlight for me. I really love the beat from DJ Clark Kent, and Larceny sounded way better here than on White Chalk. Trife is still better in my opinion, but I’m glad Larceny did better here. The hook on this track is nothing special, but I think the content about the negative impacts of substance abuse was pretty cool.
The drugs got a nigga high and I can't explain
Tye and skunk playin' tricks on my fuckin' brain
Shit is strange 'cause I know these motherfuckers dead
You see, the murder still flash back in my head
It’s one of the best songs on the album in my opinion. It’s dope as hell. Another highlight for me is entitled Realm of Junior M.A.F.I.A., which pops up earlier in the album. It has an amazing beat from DJ Clark Kent, which flips the same sample as Tim Dog’s seminal diss track, Fuck Compton. I think the opening verse from Lil Cease is just okay to be honest. Something about his flow felt really sloppy to me. It almost sounded kind of ODB-ish to be honest. The second verse from Chico Del Vec was much more impressive to me.
I admit, back in the days I did stupid shit
Now I changed, I'm into bigger and better things
Like rockin' Cuban chains, bitch copped the Range
Del Vec was set with the Lex and diamond rings
Pop Moët with my bitch when it rain
Drink away the pain, got mad stress on my brain
A little nigga roll for dough
Copped keys across seas in San Domingo
It’s not an amazing verse or anything, but I enjoyed it. He did his thing. I really was not expecting that guest verse from Jamal. That seemed pretty random to me. I’ll take it though. His verse was really nice.
Remember this, funk abyss lyricist Blow the premises out the frame with this Killer seen with the guillotine shotty With Junior M.A.F.I.A. rockin' ya whole fuckin' spot Cockin' the glock, fifty bust, hit the dust To spit shit murderous Now do you think that you can fade Jamal? I fade 'em all And if I have to kill 'em all, I shall
The closing verse from Biggie is of course the best one, but I wouldn’t say his verse was amazing. It was about as great as I expected it to be. For whatever reason, all of the verses felt pretty short to me. Maybe it’s just because of the fast paced production. I still think the song is really great overall though. The hook is nothing special. The rapping and production are the main selling point for me. I think it’s dope as hell. Track 10 is called Back Stabbers, and it’s a solo track from Lil Kim. I think she’s one of the best rappers in the group, but this song isn’t really a highlight for me. She killed the verses, but I just don’t really care for the production that much. The beat isn’t bad at all, but it just doesn’t really stand out much to me. Kim’s rhyming is really the only aspect of the song that makes it worth returning to for me.
The buddha got my brain seein' my own my blood stains
Dental records checkin' my remains, it's hard to explain
First I see 'em then I don't, they disappear
First she tried to slit my throat, now she ain't there
I'm seein' bitches in the mirrors behind me
But when I turn around, they hard to find, see
A little bit of weed and a little bit of greed
Make a bitch wanna choke me 'til I bleed
She did a great job. The sample of Jimmy Cozier singing the hook is alright. I mean, it’s good. It’s just not really the type of thing that I listen to. Even though this isn’t really a highlight for me sonically, I still think it’s a very good song. Kim killed it. The album ends with three consecutive highlights, the first of which is entitled Lyrical Wizardry. It’s a solo track from MC Klepto, who is one of the best MC’s in the group in my opinion, so I was excited to hear this one, and it didn’t disappoint. His flow is fire, and Akshun actually provided one of my favorite beats on the whole album here. It sounds like Klepto’s got a pretty hardcore lisp, but his rapping is so good that I don’t even mind.
Klep' don't give three shits to flip scripts, dismiss bullets from clips Leave niggas rollin' up skateboards with nothin' under they hips, bitch So if you test me shit gets messy Bustin' .38 speci' outta paper bags like Joe Pesci Yo, you know the tune Make sure bitches don't eat when it's time to shit out them coke balloons Blocked up the ninja when it got shady, now I got grown ladies Bustin' .380's outta E Class Mercedes
He murdered this track. There’s not really a hook. There’s just a quick skit between each verse, which I don’t mind. I think this shit is dope as hell. The following track is even better though. It’s called Oh My Lord, and I fucking love it. This is the one track that I’m like totally head over heels for. It’s just my two favorite members of the group, Biggie & Klepto, trading verses over a fantastic beat from Special Ed. The beat here actually reminds me a lot of Unbelievable. This track right here is exactly what I wanted more of on this album.
Who's that wild ass motherfucker catchin' wreck?
Stickin' Jamaicans for sound sets outside discotheques
It's Klep, the death specialist, Stallone and Stone shit
Stayin' high representin' for the nine-quint
Ras bad guy, burns the house down like Left Eye
Why try mimic? MC's get broke like speed limits
Klepto killed this shit. I wouldn’t even say he got murdered by Biggie. I think they were a great match here.
Niggas frontin', feelin' twelve gauge pellets
B.I.G. is repellent to all that "he say, she say"
We play Russian roulette, fuck the threat
Your whole crew's vagina, you and your co-signer
Nigga, we rollin' in eight and a halfs, TV's in the dash
Three G's in the stash, see we love the cash
I love it. Their flow patterns here are really mesmerizing to me. I’m actually really surprised that I’d never heard of MC Klepto before hearing this album because the dude is really damn good. I think the song is dope af. The last actual song is entitled Murder Onze, and it’s another highlight for me. I really like the smoove production from Akshun here, and the opening verse from Chico Del Vec is pretty smoove too. The content isn’t particularly interesting to me since he’s just bragging about driving cars and shmoking weed, but it’s fine. He was rhyming and flowing well. Klepto killed that second verse.
Motherfuckers fear me, I blow up spots like Ed Leary
Violent pro, sleepin' with guns like Sharon Stone
Mack ass nigga strikes again, chalk my win
Kleptomaniac attracts green stacks from eight pens
And sticky hands with crazy glue like finger tips shoplift
Or pass crews on mountain bikes bustin' four-fifths
Diamond Breguets, Rolex for the bitch, flex
Sit back, sippin' Moët, signin' my signature on checks
Everyone did really well on this track in my opinion, including Larceny. I don’t know what was going on with him on White Chalk because every other performance from him on this album is way better than that one in my opinion. It is what it is though. I think this song is dope as hell. So yeah, those are all the tracks I like. Now I’ll discuss the ones I won’t be returning to. I think Player’s Anthem is an okay track.
I almost liked it. The beat from DJ Clark Kent is dope. I liked the opening verse from Lil Cease too. My main issue with this track is the hook. I frankly think the hook is terrible. The rapping and production are nice though. Biggie did his thing, but I actually thought Lil Kim had the best performance.
I used to pack MACs in Cadillacs Now I pimp gats in the Ac's, watch my niggas backs Nines in the stores, glocks in the bags Maxin' mini-markets, gettin' money with the Arabs
Even though there are a lot of aspects of this song that I like, I don’t think I’d be too upset if it for whatever reason became impossible for me to ever hear it again. I can go the rest of my life without playing this again. It’s mediocre to me. It’s followed by another single entitled I Need You Tonight.
I really love the production on this track, but the formula here just isn’t for me. I just don’t really care for songs like this. Those old school 90s R&B/Hip Hop crossover love songs almost never work for me. This is like that dated song that Busta Rhymes did with Mariah Carey last year. Granted, this one is done way better, and nothing about it is particularly bad. It’s just not the kinda song I would ever have the desire to listen to again. The verses are all cool, especially that of Klepto, but this isn’t the kinda song that I would return to. It’s just okay to me. Same goes for the last song that I haven’t mentioned yet, Get Money.
This is easily the most popular song from the album, and I’ve never liked it. I just find the hook really annoying personally. The production is very nice though. I think the opening verse from Biggie is cool, but it’s just not really up to par with what I usually expect from him, ya know? Like, I expect to be blown away whenever I hear him rap, and that’s just not what happened here. To me it’s just a good verse; nothing more, and nothing less. I think a lot of it probably has to do with the content. The subject matter here simply doesn’t interest me at all. I feel kinda the same way about Kim’s verse. I liked her flow and rhymes a lot, but the content isn’t for me. So yeah, it’s an okay track. I just don’t really care for it that much. It’s decent though. The only other tracks I haven’t mentioned are the skits, which were all produced by the nigga that got stabbed by Jay-Z. Basically the skits all kinda string together this loose narrative about how Larceny got shot at the beginning of the album, and it doesn’t ever really get resolved. He doesn’t die or wake up, you just hear the other members talking about it in the hospital around him. It’s kind of a cool concept I guess, but the skits themselves aren’t entertaining enough for me to want to listen to them again. None of them really bothered me that much though. They’re alright.
Honestly, this album is way better than I was expecting it to be. There aren’t any wack members of the group in my opinion. None of the songs here are wack either. There are a handful that I won’t be returning to, but even those ones are decent. I’m surprised by how well produced this album is too. DJ Clark Kent and all the other producers did a great job. I honestly like this more than the Thug Life album from the preceding year. This shit is very good. Nothing here is particularly original or unique, but it’s just a pretty well done Gangsta Rap album. The production holds up surprisingly well, and all the MCs are thankfully competent. I’m glad I actually gave this shit a chance because I was not planning on listening to it at all. This shit is dope.