Big Shug

Who's Hard?

BY Del F. CowiePublished Dec 1, 2005

After years of appearing on Gang Starr Foundation records Big Shug has finally dropped an album. He has never been mistaken for being a lyrical genius, instead his appeal lies in his hard rock persona as evidenced by the album title. As he did with Group Home about a decade ago, DJ Premier attempts to reconcile the lyrical deficiencies of the MC by contributing the bulk of the album’s production. With additional knob-twiddling by the Alchemist, Big Shug definitely isn’t wanting on the production end. However, his margin for error on the mic is razor-thin. When he strays from the production of either Premier or the Alchemist, the results are underwhelming. He does trot out a crooning alter-ego and a fixation with the NFL, but ultimately Big Shug’s rhyme topics rarely stray from braggadocio. These were fine in small doses on his cameos, but he just isn’t a resourceful enough MC to stretch this over the course of an entire record. There is some strong material here like "Who (Got My Back)” and "Tha 3 Shugs,” but the album ultimately only really appeals to DJ Premier completists.
(Sure Shot)

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