From 2000-2002 The Neptunes at the time was the driving sound behind hip hop and R&B. Everything these guys touched turned into gold and in many instances platinum to where they were able to cross into different genres. Their sound despite being heavily criticized as repetitive crossed into hip hop, R&b, pop, and even Rock. They have indeed been one of the most versatile hit makers the industry have seen in quite sometime.
The Neptunes production is at its best here on Lord Willin which was the debut of the Virgina Duo The Clipse. When I first heard these guys on Grinding, I knew that there was something special about these two. Yes they spit the same typical money, cash hoes, and drugs monologue that we’ve heard many times in rap. But the difference between Malice and Pusha T is that these guys are not only SHARP spitters but they are able to paint pictures and write stories in their 16 bars. A specialty that Jadakiss, AZ, and Kool G rap have the ability to illustrate.
Subject wise, This album isn’t offering nothing new but you get a glimpse of the world that these two street kids from Virgina are living in Lord Willin and with The Neptunes bringing their A game to the table, Lord Willin became one of 2002’s best albums.
The “bangers” on Lord Willin are just that. BANGERS. You have tracks such as Virgina where they give a introduction to the listener on where they from and how grimy it is in Virgina.
Comedy Central F/ Fabolous IS another highlight which features one of the weirdest beats I’ve ever heard from the Neptunes. Surprisingly so it comes across pretty solid and Fabolous showed that he’s more than just a pretty boy rapper and he can spit the street talk as well. Whens The Last Time was the album’s 2nd single and turned out to be a potential club banger. My Personal favorite track on the album was Gangsta Lean where the duo are expressing their love for the green stuff(Majurana). It may not look pretty special on wax but Pharell actually sings the hook and brings a more soulful vibe to the track. Pharell also continues to show that he can deliver nice hooks on songs such as CotDamn and Young Boy.
The album does have some flaws, Ma I Don’t Love Her Featuring Faith Evans was as expected their follow up single and I wasn’t really fond of it based off how basic and cliche it is. I could also do without I could also do without the awful freestyle from FamLay and Talk about it Featuring Jermaine Dupri where he continues to brag about what he has was one of the album’s misteps. But it doesn’t shift the momentum of the album too much because hip hop heads are blessed with a collabo between the Lox and The Clipse on I’m Not You.
Overall this was one of the most enjoyable albums of 2002 and a surprise banger. The Neptunes showed that they were more than one trick pony’s and the Clipse showed literally rapped their asses off throughout this whole album. This is definitely worth adding to the collection
Vic Rating 9.0 outta 10