Freddie Foxxx (Bumpy Knuckles) Industry Shakedown

If there's an MC who knows anything about paying dues, it's the mercurial Freddie Foxxx. Over the past decade, he's been down with crews like Flavor Unit, KRS-One's Boogie Down Productions and Gang Starr, making jaw-dropping, scene-stealing appearances on countless records. Any doubt that Foxxx, the self-proclaimed "king of the third verse," could maintain his ferocity through an entire song, let alone a whole album, are quickly dismissed. With over a decade in the school of industry hard knocks, Bumpy has plenty to say; shooting directly from the hip at high-ranking executives and naming names (the comparatively green and average rappers Noreaga and Memphis Bleek) on the title track. Foxxx bringing the ruckus on the mic is expected, but on the notable "Inside Your Head" and elsewhere, Freddie brings his own capable beats. Not that he doesn't get any help. The gritty backdrops of veritable all-star boardsmen Premier, Pete Rock, Alchemist and Diamond D. provide perfect accompaniment for the merciless lyrics, which beyond the sensationalism and harder than thou stance, reveals some insightful wisdom. (KJAC)