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  • Rich Gang Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars

    Mon, 29 Jul 2013 07:45:25

    Rich Gang Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars - By ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino...

    Birdman Photos

    • Birdman - NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 22:  Birdman, Lil Wayne, Mack Maine and Nicki Minaj attend the 2013 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom on August 22, 2013 in New York City.
    • Birdman - NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 22:  Birdman, BMI President and CEO, Del Bryant and Lil Wayne speak onstage at the 2013 BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom on August 22, 2013 in New York City.
    • Birdman - LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 20:  Hip Hop recording artist Birdman looks on during Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs between the Los Angeles Lakers and the New Orleans Hornets on April 20, 2011 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

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    "I am my brother's keeper," Bryan "Baby" Williams a.k.a. Birdman declares during "Sunshine", a standout from the new Rich Gang album.

    The statement proves fitting throughout the entire thirteen-song collection though. Of course, the line also evokes Jules Winfield's classic Bible verse from Pulp Fiction, but Birdman remains that righteously cool. Think about it though. This is a compilation album of not only YMCMB artists whose careers Birdman plays an integral role in, but also some close friends like Rick Ross, Chris Brown, Kendrick Lamar, and more. His "brothers" in this case all shine brilliantly on their respective tracks.

    On the piano-driven intro "R.G.", Mystikal fires off a raucous and raw rhyme that sets the tone out the gate, after a prescient Birdman spoken word—"Pain came with this game. Young, rich, and wild. Famous and dangerous".

    R. Kelly's inimitable croon glides across "We Been On" as Birdman and Lil Wayne add fuel to the fire. Yo Gotti, Mack Maine, Ace Hood, and Birdman equally enhance the inspirational anthem "Dreams Come True", which feels like it could very well be the soundtrack to any story of triumph. "50 Plates" sees Rick Ross at his best over a machine gun-staccato beat, booming with bravado. Detail infuses elegant and ethereal soul into "Burn The House", while "Panties to the Side" makes for another sexy strip club anthem encouraging Tyga, Bow Wow, French Montana, and Gudda Gudda to spit pure power.

    Still, "Sunshine" remains the heart of Rich Gang. Flo Rida, Birdman, and Caskey propel the song forward with their own respective cadences as Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst carries one of his biggest hooks ever. Durst's voice smoothly sails over the vibrant production from Detail, and the song immediately reaches arena status.

    Rich Gang is the future. Roll with one of the year's best rap albums and the ultimate hip-hop compilation.

    Rick Florino

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    Tags: Rich Gang, Birdman, Limp Bizkit, Rick Ross, Kendrick Lamar, Lil Wayne, Tyga, R. Kelly, Ace Hood, French Montana, Gudda Gudda, Chris Brown, Flo Rida, Caskey, Bow Wow

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