A commercial decision seems to have been made to shorten Tha Alkaholiks moniker to Tha Liks, and hopefully capture unsuspecting listeners, but this fools no one. From the intro inwards, it remains obvious we’re still dealing with the same old playful degenerates from California, who view the world from the bottoms of various bottles of liquor, the more the merrier.
And this is West Coast funk above all, a daredevil strand of hip-hop that celebrates the smoggy heat-hazes of Los Angeles and many forms of ignorant behaviour. J-Ro, E-Swift and Tash are obviously intelligent – it takes twisted and cerebral minds to concentrate so much on drunkenness without getting boring – but they’re out to have a good time, and leave any preaching or social comment on a subliminal level.
The Likwit Crew (another alias) extended family also includes Xzibit, a solo artist in his own right, who guests on ‘Barcodes”s mirthful drinking instructions as well as ‘151”s wildout. The clique also showcase guests such as Busta Rhymes on the threatening ‘Bullyfoot’, rope in Defari for the infectious ‘My Dear’, and allow Kurrupt Young Gotti his head – so ‘Promote Violins’ contains the usual sharp rhymes and extended metaphors.
Of course, it’s Tha Liks’ show, and their fourth album rarely disappoints, whether with the creative elephant-funk of ‘Sickness’, or the two parts of ‘4Ooz Quartet’, which feature versions of Art Of Noise’s ‘Moments In Love’ chestnut and Eric B & Rakim’s ‘Eric B Is President’ hummed over empty malt liquor bottles. A laugh riot and a half, all said and done.