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Big Riggz
This Is California
Scripp Block Muzik / Money N Muscle Ent. (2014)
good good good good good

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Big Riggz appeared on Scripp Block Muzik's projects from the very beginning, i.e. "Mobb Affiliated" solo album by Big Lou. You could see him on subsequent projects by the label, especially on "Life's A Gamble" which was a joint venture by himself, Big Lou and Lil-O (now known as Lil Octane). As far as other labels are concerned I only saw him on TC Kapone's "Hard Headed" solo release. 2014 came and brought "This Is California", a solo debut by this Hayward representative.

The cd starts off with really nice tracks. "Sunshine State" is a more laidback California anthem with pleasant piano in the background and singing on a hook. "Bay 2 L.A." shows the darker, more mob type side of the project with a nice combination of synth and an ominous piano that bring that well-known gangsta/street West Coast sound. And finally "Been Done That" yet again with great production, mild tempo and mob feel to it. However next track, the main "This Is California" surprises with a different approach, because the pace is faster, while the overall melody seems light, joyful and rather simple. You can instantly hear that this jam is totally different from the three previous ones. And that's what happens throughout the whole solo. There are pretty many street joints that feature music Scripp Block got me used to. And then all of a sudden you will get something frivolous, faster, probably meant to provide mundane entertainment but failing due to simple beat. I'm talking about you "Red Chief", "West Coast Mobb Muzik" (it was meant to sound throwback, plus it features a horrible hook) or "80's Babies". In other words, if you consider production only it is extremely diversified, I can't imagine that you will enjoy all tracks. Half of the songs are really detailed and rich, some unfortunately seem half-baked and would require more work ("I'm Wet"). Authors remain unknown, as nobody was credited in the booklet; I only managed to catch that J Garcia did one.

As you can see almost every track features at least one guest appearance. Even though I enjoy Riggz' flow I need to say that it was a good choice, because the artist is in my opinion not yet versatile enough to hold the whole solo on his own. He's a decent artist, yet his lyrics, particularly rhymes sometimes leave a lot to be desired. More often than not he comes up with simple rhymes, not played-out fortunately, but at the same time nothing truly impressive. Which is why it's all good when Big Riggz has one, occasionally two verses per joint. Other than that I like his rather high voice and the way he smoothly flows over various rhythms. I'm also glad he puts emotions into his performances thanks to which you don't have an impression that he's simply talking over the beat. With that said I consider "This Is California" an ok album. It won't revolutionize the rap game, it features a couple of great slappers, but also many average ones. I primarily wish it was more consistent.

Buy the album on iTunes.

Big Lou, thanks for hooking us up with a review copy.

Written by: khamenei
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