If Mase is the Black Barney (his words, not mine), the Notorious B.I.G.
the hip-hop Sam Cooke (a sexy black idol who was also gunned down)
Puffy is, well, Phil Collins, then The Lox are The Velvet Underground.
Money, Power & Respect, The Lox -- the latest addition to the
Bad Boy family -- play the hip-hop underground ying to Puffy's
Money, Power & Respect features Puffy's most subdued
There are none of those weird pop music juxtapositions that appear
No Way Out. Instead, on songs such as "Get This $," "The Heist
1)" and "Can't Stop, Won't Stop," Puffy attempts to throw
down beats that scream with street credibility. The most obvious
uses are Spoonie Gee's "Spoonin' Rap" and an obscure Lou Donaldson
jazz-funk instrumental from an old Blue Note label album.
And guess what? It works.
Say what you will about Puff Daddy (and believe me, I have), the guy
can create the perfect production for whatever niche market he sets
sights on. On "Livin' the Life," Puff Daddy provides some eerie synth
blurps and minimalist beats over which Jay, Styles and Sheek ably
what it is like to be The Lox (trust me, it doesn't sound like fun).
This $" rides a '60s-jazz organ riff over a head-nodding beat and
random turntable scratches, and "Can't Stop, Won't Stop" is just
The spirit of Puff Daddy hangs over the proceedings, but it isn't all
him. There are a bunch of non-Puffy produced tracks -- the best of
the Lil' Kim-dominated title track, with its forceful string
and bangin' beats. As a trio of rappers The Lox work perfectly in
creating rough-n-ready "keepin' it real" rhymes, but they aren't
throwing in a few pop hooks to increase the catchiness quotient.
All in all, Money, Power & Respect is a perfectly enjoyable
for those who feel like they're too cool to be hanging out with the
million kids who bought No Way Out.