Big Shug Who's Hard?
Published Dec 01, 2005After 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 albums production. With additional knob-twiddling by the Alchemist, Big Shug definitely isnt 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 Shugs rhyme topics rarely stray from braggadocio. These were fine in small doses on his cameos, but he just isnt 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)