Def Squad Presents Erick Onasis Def Squad Presents Erick Onasis

This curiously named project comes from Erick Sermon, Redman producer and half of legendary duo EPMD, although you'd be hard pressed to guess it here. With Def Squad member Keith Murray unavailable through incarceration, and scant representation from potty-mouthed comic Redman, Serman morphs this Def Squad project into the style of a compilation. But the customary funky tracks and punch line-fuelled rhymes from the "green-eyed bandit" sound stale and predictable here, and evidence that Sermon is going through the motions pops up on more than one occasion. He trots out "Fat Gold Chain," a re-titled four-year old collaboration with Too Short, and even has a track with the long gone Eazy E. While not a total waste, more is expected from a producer of Sermon's pedigree, who should probably take some notes from guest DJ Quiks's recent Balance & Options disc to reinvigorate his sound. (Dreamworks)