Big Noyd Illustrious

Big Noyd’s rhymes could have been generated by a gangsta rap computer simulation, but with strong production by Ric Rude and Fame, to name a few, he stands out. The soul and funk that back up most of the tracks on Illustrious turn his machismo into easy listening. Some of the keepers are "Snitches,” "Posted on the Block,” "Things Done Changed” and "Trying to Make it Out.” Much of the rest sounds as generic as these randomly selected two bars: "I just drive by slow, and point that heat/Out the window, a nigga want beef.” As an Infamous Mobb Deep affiliate, this album is better than anything from the last decade of Mobb’s catalogue, but not by much. (Koch)