Force 5 Records – “The Ruckus Mixtape, Vol. 2” review

Force 5 Records is a Milwaukee based hip hop record label founded in 2002 by The DRP. However, it wasn’t until 2017 after returning from a 3-4 year hiatus where the label became the powerhouse that it is today by bringing a handful of big underground names on board from Bay Area horrorcore veteran Mars to the late Saint Dog of Kottonmouth Kings fame. They put out a showcase mixtape that same year called The Ruckus Mixtape but as Force 5’s roster continues to grow over time, it’s only right for them to drop a sequel.

After the intro, we get into the first song “$1,000 Quartet”. Which is pretty much The DRP, Jaysin Logik, Prolifik & Rick Dogg spitting over the instrumental of Gang Starr‘s “Full Clip” for 2 minutes. The next track “Crystal Meth” by Danny Diablo, The DRP, Jaysin Logik, Prolifik & Skribbal sees the 5 comparing their bars to drugs over a beat that I can kinda picture hearing on a Jedi Mind Tricks album while the song “Fuck Fame” by Big Left, The DRP & Jaysin Logik talks about living this shit over a heavy boom bap instrumental. The track “It’s a Revolution” by Danny Diablo, The DRP, Jaysin Logik, King Relik & Prolifik calls to end killing & violence over a futuristic beat while the song “Intelligence” by Jaysin Logik & Prolifik finds the duo spitting food for thought over an instrumental with a vintage feel to it.

The track “Charut” by Danny Diablo & The DRP is a invigorating moshpit anthem with an eerie trap beat while the song “One” is a Jaysin Logik solo cut about feeling empty over a piano & some fast-tempo drums. The track “Murderific” is a King Relik solo cut getting on the horrorcore tip over some funky bass & string sections while the song “Get Up 2020” by Prolifik & Rick Dogg is a fun, rap-rock flavored party starter.

The track “Make It Look Easy” by Big Hoss & Danny Diablo finds the 2 talking about being the illest in the underground over a victorious beat while the song “Cudahy Girl” is a Rick Dogg solo cut getting flirtatious over a country flavored instrumental. The track “Pervert” is a Prolifik solo cut that perfectly lives up to it’s name as he rocks it over a jazzy beat while the song “Dem Hoes 2020” by The DRP, R.A. the Rugged Man & Skribbal goes in detail as to how fine these certain group of hoes are over a grimy instrumental.

The track “Fuck Rick Dogg” is a 45 second, rock-tinged King Relik solo cut where he jokingly takes shots at Rick while the song “How You Like Me Now?” is a DRP solo cut about being the best MC on his block over a dusty boom bap beat. The penultimate track “Like You Do” is a dope leftover from Saint Dog’s final album Bozo discussing this woman in his life being heaven sent over an instrumental with some prominent bells whereas the closer “Walk the Walk” finds The DRP teaming up with the The Night Crawlers to take aim at the mainstream over a deranged beat.

I think Force 5 Records has been killing in the underground for a while now & if anyone reading this review is looking to get into them, this tape isn’t a bad place to start at all. Every signee they have to offer sticks out in their own unique way & the amount of diversity in the production is sweet too. I’m really looking forward to watching the label grow from hereon out.

Score: 3.5/5

Saint Dog – “Bozo” review

Saint Dog is a 43 year old rapper from Chisholm, Minnesota that came up as a member of the trio P.T.B. with D-Loc & Johnny Richter, all 3 of whom would later form the Kottonmouth Kings with Daddy X in 1996. He would eventually leave KMK in 1999, but would remain on Suburban Noize Records & make his solo debut 5 years later with Ghetto Guide. This would be followed up in 2006 with U.S.A. (Unconformable Social Amputees) but after rejoining Kottonmouth recently, he’s coming back with his 3rd full-length album.

The album kicks off with “Sounds of the Underground”, where Saint Dog talks about the things people say about him over a instrumental that’s perfect for the clubs. The title track sings about the things he sees in this person over a laidback instrumental while the song “I’m Living Life (Right Now)” with Danny Diablo & Syniister sees the 3 talking down to their competition over an instrumental that sounds like something Dr. Dre & Scott Storch would’ve made together in the 2000s.

The track ”West Side” with Kung Fu Vampire & Mars of course details the gritty life in California over an eerie beat while the song “Bar Door Sign” with The DRP & Prolifik is of course an alcohol banger with a thumping beat. The track “Same Ol’ Screaming” charismatically brags over an electronic beat with some live drumming while the song “She Be Wifey” talks about how fine this woman is over a trap beat with some plinky keys.

The track “Pixie Girl” is a stripper anthem with an unexpected EDM influenced beat from UnderRated while the song “Gangsta Ways” needs no further explanation over an acoustic instrumental. The track “Bang Bang” with Skribbal sees the 2 getting vicious over an instrumental with a prominent piano & some g-funk synthesizers that pop up during the hook while the song “Already Dude” gets reflective over another instrumental that kinda has a Dr. Dre/Scott Storch influence to it.

The track “Love (Is What I Got)” is a clumsily delivered romance tune with some great acoustic guitar passages while the song “Lay Low” with Big Hoss & Jaysin Logik sends a warning to those who oppose them over some keyboards. The penultimate track “Where I Stay” with Lil Jerry is a dedication to California with a summery beat & then the album ends with “Stir It Up”, which is a killer rap rock cut.

Overall, this was a pretty solid comeback. The production is decent as were most of the features, but Saint Dog sounds very focused & passionate to be back on the mic.

Score: 3.5/5