Big Noyd Only the Strong

The name Big Noyd resonates with hip-hop heads for the rough-hewn verse he delivered on Mobb Deep’s "Give up the Goods (Just Step)” from their seminal full-length The Infamous, but due to various ill-timed reasons he’s never capitalised on that notoriety. On Only the Strong, Noyd gets strong support from his Queensbridge brethren as Havoc and Prodigy appear on the mic or behind the boards throughout. But their contributions are frankly outshined by the presence of the Alchemist who, like Noyd, is pretty much a de facto Mobb Deep member and must be counted as one of the most consistent underground hip-hop producers. His body-rocking production for parts one and two of "Shoot Em Up (Bang Bang)” noticeably stand out here. Unfortunately, this is a double-edged sword for Noyd. While his brand of street poetics is unquestionably more genuine than any studio thug, he struggles to consistently display that intangible aura that sets him apart and finds him faltering on his solo tracks. However, he’s at his best when teamed with other emcees like PMD on "Going Right At ‘Em” and Prodigy on "Something For All That.” (Landspeed)