Various Artists

Paul Wong
The boys are back in town. The Boys Choir of Harlem, that is!<br><br>Courtesy of UMS

State Property Soundtrack

Roc-a-Fella Records

In much the style of a legacy being passed on from an elder to his child, Roc-a-Fella Records” CEO and premier artist Jay-Z has passed the torch to fellow artist Beanie Sigel and allowed him to take the helm of the label”s first project not directly manned by Jigga himself. The State Property record and upcoming movie are both headed by Beans, featuring the next generation of Roc-A-Fella artists and himself.

The State Property crew consists of Beanie Sigel, Chris & Neef, Oschino and Sparks and Freeway. The latter being the only one to ever appear on a previous project the rest of the artists are on the album are new recruits making names for themselves. While the artists change up on the album”s tracks, Beans is almost constant, staying out for just four of the soundtrack”s 13 cuts. It”s a wise move, as he is the strongest lyrical presence on the album. His solo joint, “No Glory,” is one of the best on the record, with powerful production by relative unknown N.O. Joe. If any of the album”s tracks have lackluster production, or demonstrate a poor showing from the other artists, Beanie usually plays cleanup.

The other artists are playing as rookies, and it shows with their often unclean delivery and mediocre lyrical ability. Oschino and Sparks demonstrate this in their ode to the rough life, “Sing My Song,” which is actually quite laughable when one hears them sing the hook. Neef and Young Chris have unoriginal lyrical styles they work OK for the sake of the record, but overall they could use a bit of fine-tuning. Freeway, who normally pales very much in comparison to the likes of Jay-Z, actually fits in the album surrounded by the other artists. Look for his high-pitched flow on his solo track “International Hustler.”

The production on the album is very hit-and-miss. Seasoned producer Just Blaze has a very good showing on the record, at the helm of the head-bopping first single “Roc The Mic” and bangers “It”s Not Right” and “Don”t Realize.” Kanye West, the genius behind much of Jay-Z”s The Blueprint, lends his talents for the album”s finest track, “Got Nowhere ” Qu”ran and Beans work well on the bouncing cut “Why Must I.” However, tracks like “Hood I Know” and “Do You Want Me” leave much to be desired on an album that could use the musical support to aid the lagging lyrics.

The State Property Soundtrack is a prime example of an established artist giving his boys a chance to flex their skills. Keep in mind that Jigga had to do it for Beans once, and now the next generation has its shot at the title. Those looking for a Jay-Z appearance are barking up the wrong soundtrack, but if you are a fan of Beanie Sigel and his last two albums, then you will definitely appreciate the full package. It showcases artists for the first time artists with some potential, so keep this in mind when listening. Overall, not a great album, but not bad by any means.

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