To twist Ice Cube’s words, “It must be a another single with Nate Dogg singing on it.” Jadakiss is leaning toward releasing “Time Up’s,” featuring Nate, as the first single from his upcoming Kiss of Death, according to an Interscope spokesperson.
On the track, producer Scott Storch pours the bass on as heavily as Boss Hogg did the barbecue sauce on a bucket of pig’s feet. Over the rough soundscape, the stoic vocalist levies harmonious warnings. “The time to talk is up, so bring the heat/ Your time is over,” he sings. Meanwhile, Jada weighs in with his own set of threats and droll punch lines like when he raps about being “in the ’hood like a bootleg movie” while others run their mouths like a “bootleg Uzi.” “All you shootin’ is the breeze,” he charges.
Although the guest list is considerably shorter for Kiss of Death than it was for Jada’s last LP, 2001’s Kiss Tha Game Goodbye, the LOX’s stocky master of slick talk isn’t hurting for impactful cameos.
“Hot Sauce” is another bass-infested stomper, with an instrumental devised by the Neptunes. Pharrell Williams brings back more brazen booty talk, telling a honey that she could probably “stink up the room with that big ol’ ass.” Jada gets in on the crooning for a short stint, singing an excerpt from Roger Troutman’s “I Wanna Be Your Man” to start the record off. Kiss later raps, “Honey looks hotter than hot sauce,” and he then tells her to “lock me up, hold onto the key.”
In reality, Kiss of Death doesn’t find Jada constrained to his much beloved rhyme MO of guns, drugs, shaking off snitches and dealing with ’hood rats and models. Kiss shows evolution, reflecting on life, trying to give hope and leaving the listener with a message.
The simply titled “Why,” featuring Anthony Hamilton on the hook, may be his most poignant and honest record to date. Jada candidly questions societal and historical downfalls, misfortunes and shockers. “Mr. Raspy” sounds like he could be talking to God or one his homies in his Yonkers stomping ground.
He broaches such topics as California letting “the Terminator win the election,” Aaliyah’s plane crash, Denzel Washington not winning a best actor Academy Award until he played a crooked cop, the debilitating effect on the community and his own lack of record sales. “Still Feel Me” gives insight to Jadakiss’ alter ego, Jason Phillips, and he speaks with candor about family problems and being robbed of $100,000.
There’s no problems with Jada’s musically bonded brothers. Fellow LOX members Styles and Sheek both appear on the LP. Styles graces the deadly Red Spyda-produced title track, and he and Jada exchange their in-and-out flow of lyrics on “Written in the Stars,” while Sheek enters the opus via “Real Hip-Hop.”
Kanye West and Swizz Beatz are among the other contributors already aboard the project, and there’s a chance Jada may lure vocals from Beyoncé or City High’s Claudette Ortiz before he wraps production for good. Kiss of Death is due June 1.