In 1995 on the West Coast, it was all about Death Row and the incarcerated Tupac. Death Row was still dominating and Tupac released his best album Me Against the World. Anyone else did NOT matter. Where was Ice Cube? He was past his prime, so he made Friday. What about the Hieroglyphics? They're golden age had come to an end the year before. The Pharcyde? Everybody dismissed their best album Labcabincalifornia as wack. Here is yet another unappreciated Cali crew. Tha Alkaholiks, mentored by the equally unappreciated King Tee, released a classic album here. But with hype about Me Against the World and controversy over Dogg Food, Tha Liks' classic sophomore joint Coast II Coast went damn near unnoticed. Why is this a classic? Let's start with the production. E-SWIFT, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE??! I can't believe how underrated the man is. DJ Quik has been my favorite producer from the West, but E-Swift may snatch that throne from him. How're the lyrics? The subject matter isn't deep. It's more about gettin' drunk and having fun. I know, that's the sort of thing Death Row artists talk about (minus gun talk). The rhymes themselves are what makes these guys so sick. They have East Coast-style rhymes and flow, like their mentor King Tee or Souls of Mischief. The one that shines most is Tash, but J-Ro and E-Swift ain't far behind. The guest make the party all the more fun. Lootpack comes off as Tha Liks' twin brother, Q-Tip spits a slick verse, Diamond D, Devastating E and Lil' Tone do a good job, new kid Xzibit (before he started making corny jokes on Pimp My Ride) shines, and King Tee lets 'em know who the teacher was. King Tee reminds me of Biggie, although the correct way to say it is Biggie reminds me of King Tee. All fans of hip-hop need to get this album. In fact, ANYONE that likes fun music to listen to (rap fan or not) that is just spontaneous fun and not record label A&R fun needs Coast II Coast. In an era that was about to explode with beef and drama back and forth, Tha Alkaholiks were all about drunken fun because I'm sure they knew that a hangover the next morning was better than beef with someone from the East Coast. Song Quality: 10/10 (wild and enjoyable!) Lyrics: 9/10 (they're off the hook) Beats: 10/10 (E-Swift is a beast!) Favorites: WLIX Read My Lips Let It Out 21 and Under All the Way Live Hit and Run DAAAM! 2014 Bottoms Up The Next Level Least favorites: none
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