Striking resemblance to Kool Keith aside, Big Noyd emerges from the ranks of the Queensbridge murder music militia aiming to get on. Not wanting to differentiate himself from his mentors Mobb Deep, with whom he debuted on the classic LP The Infamous, Noyd delivers exactly what you expect, for better and worse.
He doesn’t probe much deeper into the typical thug subject matter of guns, drugs, money and women. But his voice and flow reveal his decade-plus prison-shank-sharpened mettle, best displayed with the underrated Joell Ortiz on the Prodigy-sampling gutter groove Ghetto. Apocalyptic production sparks the ominous atmosphere from threat-fests like this, as Fizzy Womack, Ric Rude and Prince & Machavelli rescue the album from its depressing conceptual bleakness with their intriguing street-hop templates.