In the grand tradition of rappers from Ice Cube
's second album comes complete with an alternate identity, Melvin Flynt
. As the cover portrays, Noreaga
is struggling between himself and what the music industry wants him to become to sell more records. The record begins with a death that creates his alternate identity, and the rapper does in fact seem reborn on street-level tracks like "Gangsta's Watch," "Da Hustla," and "Wethuggedout." It's more than just an easy way to revel in gangsta imagery and themes without having to worry about criticism; Melvin Flynt - Da Hustler
works because Noreaga
puts feeling into the tracks. Though the production is a bit off compared to 1998's N.O.R.E.
, the album is an interesting addition to gangsta lore.