Produced by Manhattan-based upcoming rap kingpin Irv Gotti, this album was originally meant to be a three-way rap superstar affair with [a]DMX[/a], [a]Jay-Z[/a] and Ja Rule taking up the mic. Thanks to ‘contractual obligations’, Gotti‘s vision was never fulfilled and instead he’s had to rely on the skills of Ja Rule (although both [a]Jay-Z[/a] and [a]DMX[/a] do make limited guest appearances). So it’s Rule‘s dancehall-tinged mad-dog bark that dominates this record – which has instead become a base to launch some relative unknowns.
We’re introduced to Tah Murdah, O1, Chris Black, Black Child and the troupe’s only female member, Vita, through a fearsome mix of old-school gangsta rhyming over deep, dark, funk-ridden beats and samples from [I]Halloween[/I] – on the [a]DMX[/a]-led ‘Tales From The Darkside’. While The Murderers aren’t exactly bringing anything new to the table, their dedication to the darkside makes for brilliant, wall-thumping uneasy listening.
While the recurring themes of murder, murder, bitches, money and murder may be overbearing at times, this is still an impressive debut, filled with gangsta anthems, and one that’s bound to raise Irv Gotti‘s profile even higher.