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Jim Jones Presents…Purple City: The Purple Album

purplecityalbum.jpgCosigned by Jim Jones, Purple City swooped down on the industry last year with a pair of respectable mixtapes. Now that the Dipset capo has an executive position over at Warner Bros., he decides to flex his A&R muscle with the Koch-distributed compilation Jim Jones Presents… Purple City: The Purple Album. This gives the Harlem trio of Shiest Bub “the Emperor,” Agallah “the Don Bishop” and Un Kasa a chance to shake things up on a higher level.

Un Kasa sets things off with the introspective solo shot “Live Your Life.” Riding Uni Beats’ triumphant horns, the cocky MC vehemently proclaims, “I’m the next big thing since Voletta’s son/So when the cheddar come, you faggot niggas better run/I rep the slums/Money, sex and guns/Bad bitches/Sex for funds.” The lofty boasts continue from there with topics that have been beaten into listeners’ heads for years, like paper chasin’ (“Bankroll” featuring B.G. and 334 MO.B.B.), gun talk (“Harlem to B’More”) and random drug banter (“Smoke My Piff”).

What Purple City lack in lyrical diversity, they make up for in solid production. Dame Grease provides the looming organ chords for the New York posse cut “Hustlers” featuring Buckshot and Smif-N-Wessun, and Jeruz splices together syrupy drums and hand claps on Byrd Gang affiliate Buddy Klein’s solo track, “Grind Slow.” Shiest and Agallah even get into the act as they coproduce the sinister “Head Bust Open” and the melodic smoker’s anthem “Fly High,” respectively.

Although The Purple Album is sure to get local love in Harlem, it falls short of producing mass appeal material. Un Kasa says it best on the organ-laced “The Truth” when he spits, “I’m in the hood, and I’m good ’cause I get felt there/But y’all good in ya hoods ’cause y’all go elsewhere/I make it hot in my hood, I make it melt there.” —SEAN A. MALCOLM

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