Published Apr 25, 2014About three songs into Trouble In The Neighborhood (around the time "The Crew" drags itself out of shape and out of breath across the finish line), I started to feel a little sorry for Rapper Big Pooh; it wasn't supposed to be this way. Now, many years removed from his historic early days as one third of Little Brother, Big Pooh still offers sparing examples of the feisty rap style that kept him in the game even as his old squad mates went their separate ways. Unfortunately, that style works best with a strong support group and, more importantly, a solid soundtrack, and neither are present in any consistent or meaningful way here.
Teamed with West Coast rapper Roc C this go-around, the two come in swinging fiercely for the knockout on the dash-rattling "Set It Off," but quickly punch themselves out and spend much of the rest of the record throwing out disjointed barbs over stiff, metronome-simple drums and woefully repetitive key-triggered sounds. The record's few instances of lyrical clarity and sonic cohesion ("Want Some Mo,'" "Code 10") are not nearly enough to offset the record's overall monotony, and while Pooh still catches a little bit of shine here and there, those moments are unfortunately fleeting. (Nature Sounds)