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JAY-Z & TIMBALAND ALBUM
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What do you get when you take the greatest living rapper and the greatest hip hip producer. You get one hot album. Sign the petition and lets make it happen.
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FACE/OFF
by kenn on 1/05/2004 03:00:00 AM

Critical Thinking On M.A.D.E.

Once anointed heir to Jay-Z's throne - by no less than Jay-Z himself - Memphis Bleek has resoundingly failed to live up to expectations. Other Roc-A-Fellas such as Beanie Sigel and even Freeway have produced stronger records and albums.

Bleek redeems himself a bit with M.A.D.E., his first album in three years. The title holds double meaning as a blend of Mafioso-referencing and a rather clunky acronym: Money, Attitude, Direction, Education.

What does that mean, and how does it relate to Bleek? We never really find out, but it doesn't matter much, as Bleek supplies a solid blend of New York mainstream hip-hop and some interesting personal reflections.

Bleek isn't afraid to surround himself with his elders; he's content to let Sigel and Jay-Z steal the show on the top-notch, abstract Hypnotic and the frenetic if predictable Murda Murda. (Those already missing the supposedly retired Jay-Z can get their fix here - he also stars on the single Everything's a Go and 1, 2 Y'All.)

While Bleek never seems to be having much fun, Need Me in Your Life stands out as a guilty pleasure with Nate Dogg crooning at his faux-romantic humorous best.

Reaching inward, as all the Roc artists seem to be doing lately, Bleek produces a handful of compelling introspective verses on Understand Me Still, Do It All Again and My Life. All would be great songs were it not for their bland, often annoying R&B hooks.

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