It’s Tha Liks baby, It’s Tha Liks!!!…This West Coast crew made it clear on their debut “21 & Over” that they were all about “the hoes, flows and the 40oz”. “Coast II Coast” which was released in 95′ provided us with a solid, consistent, and hilarious follow up to their debut. E-Swift handled much of the production on “Coast” but he got a big helping hand from some dude named “Madlib” who we all know and love today, and let’s not forget Diamond D who contributed the “Enter The Dragon” sample on “Let It Out”. J-Ro & Tash mesh nicely together on the mic on “Coast” which was much jazzier and laid back than “21 & Over”. Nonetheless, a smashing follow-up that satisfied us diehard Liks’ fans. My favorite cut off on this LP remains headnods gallore “2014″ with the “b-b-b-back in the days I knew rap would never die” sample from KRS One.
Admittedly, this was the last Kast’ LP that really grabbed me. The follow up to Andre & Big Boi’s groundbreaking debut “SouthernPlayalistic”, “ATLiens banged from beginning to end. “Elevators” which was the first single released off this LP was the weakest track here IMO. Back in the day “Two Dope Boyz” was that knock but today I prefer “13th Floor/Growing Old”, maybe cause’ I’m doing just that…Growing Old!! Back in 95-96, the only groups from the South that were really garnering any of my attention were the Geto Boys and Outkast. “ATLiens” is super solid, there is really no fast forward material here. Big Boi & Andre obviously matured lyrically and personally between their debut and this release. This should be the blueprint for Sophomore releases.
Okay…so it wasn’t “Whut??Thee Album” but “Dare Iz A Darkside” was a very solid, dark and murky second effort. There is not too many albums where you can judge the feel of the album by looking at the cover art, but with “Dare” the comparison is almost eerie. While Erick Sermon loaded “Whut” with an overabundance of P-Funk samples, “Dare’s” production sounded more like an extension of Keith Murray’s “The Most Beautifulest Thing”. Redman is classic Redman here, with similes and metaphors for days. Red’s lyrical abilities where unmatched at the time of this release. BTW, who else remembers The Source cover where Red had toilet tissue stuffed up his nostrils?…Classic Red. Or what about the “Can’t Wait” video where Red and his homeboys are cruising through Newark in a drop-top in what can’t be more than 40 degree weather?? Anyway, I’m a big fan of Red’s debut, so I was a little disappointed when I first heard “Dare” but over the year’s I have grown to appreciate this follow up much more.
I think I may be the only dude who appreciated “Labcabin” more than “Bizarre Ride”. I have one word for you “Runnin”. Produced by the late, great Dilla Dawg “Runnin” is up there for me when we’re talking about all-time favorites. While there is some wastage on the Pharcyde’s second release, tracks like “Drop”, “She Said” & “Y?” make up for the LP’s shortcomings. This album could have been just a tad more condensed as it starts to drag out a bit after “Devil Music”. Still, a must have for those fans of Tha Liks’ & Souls of Mischief.