Album Review | Cappadonna – The Yin & the Yang

This album was released on April 3rd in the year of our lord 2001. I’m gonna be honest; I’m not very excited for this album. I’ve never been the biggest Cappadonna fan in the first place, and I never see anyone talking about this album. In fact, the only Cappadonna record I ever see people talking about positively is The Pillage, which I didn’t even think was that good. I don’t think this is about to be a bad album, but I’m not expecting it to be particularly memorable. There isn’t even any RZA production on this album, which is pretty disappointing. At least there are a few intriguing features. I’m sure I’ll enjoy at least some of the material here.

The opening song is entitled The Grits, and it features a verse and production from Agallah. This song is not good. I wouldn’t say it’s bad, but I didn’t get any type of enjoyment out of it at all. I just really don’t care for Cappadonna’s flow, and none of the lyrics stand out in a positive way at all. He spits two verses on this song, and neither of them are very enjoyable to me at all. The one aspect of this song that I can appreciate is Cappadonna’s aggressive vocal delivery. He sounds decent on the mic. I just don’t think his flow is very good. Agallah’s verse wasn’t much better either. I mean, I definitely think he had a more enjoyable performance than Cappadonna, but that isn’t saying much. He kinda sounded like Canibus to me. The simplistic hook is okay I guess, and the beat’s tolerable. The song is just very mediocre to me. I feel the same way about the following song, Super Model.

I think the simplistic production from True Master kinda sucks, and I really don’t care for the lyrical content of this track at all.

She a super model, 33-33 throttle
Love the way her body shaped, shaped like a bottle
Save her 'til tomorrow, I'm like Zorro
CC, leave a mark in your TT's

I don’t think I’ll ever understand the purpose of songs like this. Who is he trying to reach with this track? Are straight women the target audience? Do women like stuff like this more than other Hip Hop songs? I don’t know, man… I just don’t see the appeal in something like this. I mean, I’d probably understand if the beat was good and if he was rapping well, but he’s just not. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of this song is the fact that Ghostface Killah is just relegated to the hook. I think Cappadonna’s flow is better on this track than it was on the preceding song, but it’s still not particularly impressive. This song fucking sucks honestly. I thought it was just mediocre the first time I heard it, but the more I listen to it the worse it gets. This shit is wack. Track 3 is entitled War Rats, and it’s produced by Neonek. I can’t decide whether the beat is trash or good. The thing is, it’s melodic, and a lot more detailed than the preceding couple of beats. However, the actual instrumentation just kinda sounds like shit to me. The first verse from Cap was okay I guess. I mean, the line about rappers being at gay bars was a little weird. I’m not sure what he was trying to say there. There’s no doubt in my mind that Cappadonna is one of those super macho homophobic New York dudes though. I’m gonna be honest; I hate that side of Hip Hop. Some good music comes out of it sometimes though, so it’s whatever. Anyway, the hook doesn’t really add much to the song for me, and the second and third verses aren’t anything special. I wouldn’t say this is a bad song though. I definitely think it’s more tolerable than the preceding track. I didn’t really enjoy it at all, but I wouldn’t call it wack. It’s just mediocre to me. The following track is called Bread of Life, and I actually think it’s pretty solid to be honest. The production from Neonek is cool—it sounds like something Nas would’ve rapped over during the Street’s Disciple days—and I actually think his verse is pretty good too.

Man fainted
Now they see the glory God painted
Heaven's army made a statement on your anti-Christ arrangement
Summon the sword against God and every mountain
Unleash a vile plague on all you heathens who be doubting

I even like the second verse from Cappadonna to some extent. His flow wasn’t that great, but I thought the lyrics were kinda cool. The third verse from Killah Priest wasn’t as good as I was expecting it to be, but I’d still say he had the best performance on the song. Cappadonna comes back in to spit one final verse at the end of the track, and his flow sucks, but, again, the lyrics aren’t bad. I don’t really care for the hook on this track, but it’s not terrible or anything. This is a decent song. It’s not something I’d ever have the desire to listen to again in the future, but it’s easily the best track up to this point on the record. I think it’s okay. Track 5 is called Love Is the Message, and it has a feature from Raekwon. The beat on this song from Goldfinghaz really caught me off guard. I don’t think it’s a bad instrumental, but I just wasn’t expecting to hear anything like this on this album. It sounds like something from the Tiny Tower soundtrack, except not as good. I definitely like it though. It’s easily the best beat up to this point on the record. The opening verse from Rae is great. His flow was really nice, and he rhymed very well. I even think the second verse from Cap is pretty solid. It’s definitely not as great as Raekwon’s performance, but he sounded pretty solid to me. If Raekwon wasn’t on this track I probably wouldn’t like it that much. He is here though, so I fuck with this song. I think it’s pretty good. The following song is called We Know, and it features Jermaine Dupri & Da Brat. I think Cappadonna sounds surprisingly good on the first verse. The production from JD kinda sucks, but I enjoyed Cap’s performance over it. Except for the hook. The hook is ass. Even though I enjoyed Cappadonna’s verse, Da Brat totally outshined him. She actually rapped really well here. That line about how she pops dudes like Redenbacher was tight. The final verse from Cap is cool too. Thankfully Jermaine Dupri doesn’t really contribute much to this song vocally. I’d probably like this song if the production and hook weren’t so shitty. I wouldn’t say this song is bad, but it’s just really mediocre to me overall. Track 7 is called Shake Dat. I actually don’t think the beat from Goldfinghaz is that bad. I mean, it’s definitely not good, but I wouldn’t say it’s wack. It’s just midpack to me. The first verse kinda sucks. I mean, Cap’s flow is decent I suppose, but he doesn’t say anything interesting here. It’s really generic lyrically.

Shake your ass, don't trouble me
We keep it real, Homocide Hill
Off the meat rack, coke in the bill
Gun talk, a roughneck city
Shake your ass, show no pity
Get the cash, fuck that kitty
After that, it's time to get dough
Gimme a track, I lace the flow
I go to places y'all can't go
Overseas, me doin' the show
Player hate me, but we got the Mo'
Test me, that's a big no-no

The hook from Jamie Sommers sucks. Her voice is really annoying to me here. I really wish Cappadonna didn’t spit with the same exact flow on all three of the verses. There’s really not a single aspect of this song that I enjoy. I know I said the beat wasn’t bad, but it gets pretty irritating as the song progresses. The hook is ass, and all of the verses kinda suck. I think the song is wack honestly. Track 8 is entitled Big Business, and it features Shyheim as well as an artist named Crunch. I think it’s one of the better songs on the album honestly. The production from Neonek is pretty solid, and none of the verses are bad. The first verse from Cap is just okay to me, but I definitely wouldn’t say it’s wack. Same goes for the second verse from Shyheim. I’m not really sure what Crunch contributed to this song because none of the verses were performed by him. I’m assuming that’s him on the hook, but I could be wrong. The hook is fine I guess. It doesn’t really add anything to the song for me, but I don’t think it tarnishes it either. The final verse from Cappadonna is easily the best part of the song. I actually think that’s probably Cap’s best verse on the whole album.

God, keep shinin' your light, I got a calling
Felt like the angels were fallin'
But with this God-given mic I restored the faith
My love for the prophets keeps me safe
See, I don't have to worry 'cause I know God is great
If it wasn't for the father it wouldn't be a Bill Gates
No Bill Clinton, no United States
Peep it, explore my mind like a secret
If the music ain't good, y'all won't leak it
So I give thanks and praise to the almighty
The spirit in the music hit y'all lightly
Motown Hip-Hop, don't try to fight me
I call on the arch angel, cast out the hate
All-time, Cappuccino the great

I mean, it’s not amazing or anything, but it’s a lot more interesting lyrically than anything on the preceding tracks. Overall, I think this is an okay song. I enjoyed the final verse, and I think the production is solid. It’s just not good enough to warrant any repeat listens from me. It’s a solid track though. It’s followed by Revenge, which features Timbo King, and is produced by Inspectah Deck. This song easily has one of the best beats on the album in my opinion. It’s got that classic, rugged, raw sound that I expect from the Wu-Tang Clan. The opening verse from Cappadonna isn’t that good, but it’s tolerable. It’s not like he ruined the beat with a wack verse. It’s a fine performance. His flow definitely left something to be desired, but it is what it is. The second verse from Timbo King is pretty nice. He did a good job on this song. The third verse is performed by someone named Freemurder, who was left uncredited for whatever reason. I don’t think he really adds much to the song, but he’s not bad. He sounds a lot like Jay-Z to me. The final verse from Cappadonna is easily the best part of this song. The lyrics were actually pretty interesting.

Rain, rocks, fire and snowflakes
Destroy homes that contain the mad evil
All of God's children ran towards the steeple
For all of those who did wrong to the meek
Their souls were cast out into the deep
Bodies of the unholy covered the street
And all of God's creatures ate them like meat
Oh Father, have mercy on the weak
The ones that can't see, and the ones that can't speak
The ones in the projects smokin that leaf
Who lived through slavery, families got beat

If every verse on the song was as good as this one then I probably would’ve enjoyed the track more. It’s definitely another one of the best songs on the project, but it’s not something that I’d go out of my way to listen to again in the future. I think it’s decent though. The penultimate track is called One Way 2 Zion, and it features an artist named Culture. The production from Neonek is kind of a mess, but I like it. I think it’s a pretty good beat. Culture is a singer who just provides some nice background vocals throughout the track; he doesn’t have a verse or sing the hook or anything. I unfortunately don’t care for the verses from Cappadonna, mainly because his flow leaves a lot to be desired. It’s pretty frustrating because I think this song might have my favorite beat on the project, but Cappadonna just doesn’t do it justice. The song is decent overall though. It’s definitely another one of the better songs on the project in my opinion. The closing track has another feature from Culture and is called Save the Children. I unfortunately don’t really care for the beat from Neonek on this song, but it’s not terrible or anything. It’s just not one of my favorites on this album. Culture actually has a verse on this song, and I think he sounds pretty bad honestly. The melodies he sings don’t really fit over the instrumental that well in my opinion. The hook is fine, but it doesn’t really add much to the song. I feel the same way about Cap’s rapping on this song as I did about it on the preceding track. I really just don’t care for his flow. The lyrics are fine I suppose. I mean, they don’t really stand out to me, but they aren’t particularly bad. I don’t really like anything about this song, but I still wouldn’t call it wack. It’s just mediocre to me.

This album is very mediocre. There’s only one song on here that I like, and even that track isn’t that great. Some of the beats here were kinda cool, and the features were hit or miss. However, my main issue with this project is Cappadonna himself. I just don’t care for the way this dude raps. His flow leaves a lot to be desired, and I dislike the way he rhymes most of the time. When he’s focused he can actually have some interesting lyrical content, but for the most part this is a very generic album lyrically. With all that said, this actually isn’t as bad as I thought it’d be. Most of the songs aren’t actually bad. This project is just pure midpack. If for whatever reason you’re a huge fan of Cappadonna then I guess you should give it a listen, but even for hardcore Wu-Tang listeners this is a skippable project.

Favorite SOng: Love Is the Message
Least Favorite Song: Super Model


Grade: D+

One comment

  1. Back then when it came out I actually kinda liked this album, it sounded a bit different to me.

    Anyway overall it is a pretty weak album, even in Cappas catalogue. I agree with what u said about Cappa, if he focuses he can be pretty good even great sometimes I would say. But often it is kinda exhausting to listen to him. I still think he had a handful of good projects over the years.

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