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Lil Rue
Syrup and Kush
Slappin' In The Trunk Entertainment (2011)
good good good good good

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01. Gettin' It f. AC & Dip
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05. Rude Boy f. AC, Chop Black & Young Gaitta
06. Hop Out f. Philthy Rich & Mayback
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09. Dope Dk f. J. Dandridge, Dip & AC
10. Best Friend f. Mayback & Mistah F.A.B.
11. Cake f. B-Town Mac & AC
12. Problems - Team Knock
13. Wetter
14. Bah Bah Bah - Young Moses & AC
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17. Rich Girl Remix f. Cataracs & Young & Restless
18. Wassup Remix
19. Wassup Remix 2

Lil Rue is one of those Oakland artists who appeared on the rap scene a couple of years ago, yet has already managed to flood the market with numerous releases. Truth be told I have not had an opportunity to check out all of his projects, simply because there are so many of them. Judging by our News section, I can tell you that Lil Rue debuted in 2010 with a solo "Fully Loaded". The next to come were "Quit Hatin' The Bay" collabo with HD and Hen Sippa, "Shottas" recorded together with Lil Blood, and a solo "Stars & Straps" - all of those in 2010. The year of 2011 also brought a whole lot of new Lil Rue's albums and one of the first was the hereby "Syrup & Kush" that was created in affiliation with Slappin' In The Trunk Entertainment. This label has also already dropped stacks of cds, mainly compilations hosted by well known Bay Area artists: Mistah F.A.B., Nump, J Stalin, Beeda Weeda to name a few.

What's interesting about this project is that it's not only "starring" Lil Rue, it's not a compilation hosted by him, but almost a full-fledged solo endeavor. I say "almost", because out of 17 tracks, only 4 do not feature him. At the same time another 4 songs are Lil Rue all by himself (I do not count 2 remixes at the end). In other words fans of this Oakland rapper will hear a lot of his appearances on this one. As far as other people go you will get both recognizable northern Cali figures like Jacka, Fed-X, Mistah F.A.B., Philthy Rich or Young Lox as well as people affiliated with Slappin' In The Trunk: AC, Team Knock, Young Gaitta, Cataracs and more. First of all let me say that Lil Rue quickly convinced me (with his other releases) and made me his fan. I like that he puts much emotions into his verses, plays with the voice and is generally far from typical "talking over a beat". He flawlessly blends with various rhythms and on top of that juggles with interesting rhymes. If you take it all into account you will end up with a very talented artist who never bores while on the mic. Have a look at this more or less random verse:

Price tag on your head, get you mopped with a wetter
Yeah I'm rockin' with at least 30 or better
Hop out on your spot, mac wrapped in my sweater
And I'm with that shit
Don't let me catch you slippin', while you with that bitch
Ruger Rue, the livest wire
Dressed in all black, in my mob attire

The only thing that Rue could work on is the actual lyrical content. Over here majority of the tracks are generic to a certain degree. I wish I could hear more personal thoughts, own experiences, stories; basically something more than "I'm so wet, don't mess with the kid, ho pay me, I was raised in the gutter" medley. Fortunately Lil Rue still manages to come up with good tracks, even when he talks about stuff already digested and spitted out by hundreds other artists before. That was partially achieved thanks to very nice production handled by Sonic Sounds, Mark Kregan, Brilliant, The Cataracs and Akills. I like the fact that music presents a wide spectrum of styles. You will find calm, slow-paced, more serious songs ("Gettin' It", "The Struggle", "Problems"), hard, street / gangsta type of shit ("One Way", "Hop Out") or even cuts with hyphy elements ("Dope Dk", "Cake", "Bah Bah Bah"). "Syrup and Kush" is a very solid project, diversified when it comes to beats, with a variety of guest appearances and versatile Lil Rue on top of that. Don't miss out on this artist, check this cd out.

Written by: khamenei
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