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Kool G Rap, Riches, Royalty & Respect

More than twenty years after his debut alongside DJ Polo, Kool G Rap is out to prove that he’s aged gracefully. By staying in his comfort zone, one of the originators of rap’s Mafioso sub-genre uses Riches, Royalty & Respect—his fifth solo album (eighth overall)—to again demonstrate this.

For the most part, the Queens native relies on his signature style, where he shines, weaving yarns about illicit scenarios that often include shady vixens looking for a come up. “Should have known better than to fuck with a chicken head/Should have just came for the brain like Return of the Living Dead,” he spits on “Pillow Talk.”

Though the album includes beats from Alchemist (“America’s Nightmare” featuring Havoc) and old Juice Crew buddy Marley Marl (“Money Over Bitches”), a lack of star-level production hinders the release a bit. Even so, a legion of lesser-known beatsmiths build a capable enough backdrop to showcase G Rap’s New York grittiness. On “70’s Gangsta,” Leaf Dog crafts swelling horns for Giancana to kick a flow that reveals what he’d sound like if he were a Blaxploitation-era rap hero, while “Pages of My Life” finds DJ Supa Dave cooking up crisp drums for G Rap’s autobiographical bars.

Sure, there’s no radio-friendly material to fit the current cookie-cutter format, but that was never G Rap’s forte. Riches, Royalty & Respect will appeal his fanbase, as it reinforces that the impeccable rhyme skills that propelled the Kool Genius to rap reverence have not diminished over time. —Alvin Blanco

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  • BayF.s.b..

    Kool G.enius of Rap (Nat Wilson) is the best rapper ALIVE!!!!!! He’s not a radio “FRIENDLY” sell-out like the rest of’em SELL-OUTS!!!!! Muhfuckas say they the best????????? Put G. Rap on ur next single…So My son could make u look stupid on your Super Produced Track!!!!!!!!! I DARE YA!!!!!!!!! Shout out 2 M.O.P…Bitch niggas don’t want it!!! From Browsville To Corona!!!!!!!!

  • Sha

    Ok….. That G Rap and Polo “Rags to Riches” was a beast. He forever gets my admiration for that joint. But now it’s time for some tough love…..

    Kool G Rap sounds like 5 percent of what he used to be (no pun at the 5 Percenters).

    I heard the album. He doesn’t sound hungry. He doesn’t sound like he has a lot of energy.

    And to keep it really 100?

    He sounds old. Physically. His rhyme style changed (I guess everyone’s style does) but Kool G Rap was known for that rapid-put my foot in your ass type flow.

    XXL gave him a “Large” rating. But I would have given him a “Medium”. And that’s WITH his legendary status taken into account.

    Sorry Kool G…. I like what you gave to the game, but I love the honesty in hip-hop more….

  • Sha

    My bad…. “Road to Riches”

  • Sha

    Actual…… “Road To The Riches”

  • Jess Devitt

    kill yourself for only giving it a large

  • Lashawn Elmhurst

    Nathaniel is a fucking fraud who hasn’t done shit worthwhile since DJ Polo split.

    He used to be a complete MC; then he became a caricature of second rate mafia movies.

    Why is Nathaniel incapable of rapping about his life or politics anymore? What the fuck is he afraid of?

    Obviously dude has hard times but if he’s too gutless to share that, why the fuck should anyone CARE?

    Legend of the fall-offs is about it, don’t kid yourselves.

  • Johnny Dio

    What the fuck does Nathaniel know about Sam Giancana? Carlos Trafficante? Carlos Marcello? Robert Kennedy?

    Retire, Nathaniel, and get a job where you can live with dignity, instead of foisting this dogshit on the world and expecting it to care.

  • http://www.justice.gov.za Ch*l*z

    If this LP was dropped by an up n coming mc like myself….it was gonna b a hot summer.

    Wonda’ when they stop making music as lyricism n as gritty like this!!!

  • rahs

    I see people here disrespecting a legend and everyone in entitled to their opinion but if you listen to any track G Rap has featured on in the past 10 years or so he has arguably dropped the best verse on every one most of the time murdering the artist who he is featuring for!
    This album was not classic G Rap but its been almost 10 years since his last album and to think that the man hasn’t changed or that his style hasn’t developed in that time is ignorance.
    There are some standout bangers and some that are good.
    The more i have listened to this the more I like it and to the people that are not feeling thats fine but there is no need to hate…. just appreciate or JOGG ON!

  • mav

    yall need to relax ….this is what we get in hip hop now legends gettin disrespected… in any other genre of music that shit dont happen… how g rap aint been hot since dj polo…my fiends need that shit yall smokin… if i could get one artist on a track right now it would b g rap…

  • S mack

    G rap is a legend. This new album is the best shit out right now. I need some of that stuff yall smoking so i can hit the street and go double platinum. some ppl know rap and some ppl know crack