Review – Lil’ Raskull ‘The Streets Are White’

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Lil’ Raskull had released and been featured on countless projects, throughout the 90’s, as the centerfold of the now distinct Grapetree Records. After the label malfunctioned The Ras stepped out on his own in the form of Javo Records, a label to call his own, and to keep his Dirty South flavor coming to a genre in need. When many thought he was finished, truth be told he was only getting started. The Streets Are White begs the question; if the streets could talk what would they say? Throughout 17 tracks, 13 of them produced by Ras himself, and nearly an hours length of up-tempo street testimonies, the answer can only lie within the listener.

Industry veteran, and close friend Nuwine, along with New York’s own Sean Slaughter, guest alongside Ras on the opening track in “How Does It Feel?” Contemplating their feelings towards the industry after ten years and counting, of standing in the game, through the thick and thin… “how does it feel? ten years in the rap game/ya hit the block one day, and see that the times changed… and when you thought it was done, Jesus called your name.” “Ice White Shoes” is an up-tempo track, where Ras shows off wordplay, coming through in his ‘ice white shoes’ over a synth-filled banger. “Beattittrues” talks about the pro’s and con’s witnessed by Ras throughout his many years in the industry. Male R&B vocalist Anceo Henderson shows up on “Only Way”. Written and produced by Henderson himself, the track is filled with guitar synth loops, and high hats, and ends with Ras flowing into the fading of the song. “How Real Is God To Ya'” asks that exact question exactly in “is He real enough for you to wanna give your life/for you to wanna spend your days in paradise/how real is God to ya’?.” Lil’ Raskull shows off a side of him we’ve never seen as he double time raps the hook, being known for a rather lackadaisicle flow, he accomplishes this feat rather well. Shabach Entertainment’s well known fit thrower Pettidee provides the backdrop for “Who Is Who?” Pettidee gets it started with his animated flow and animated vocals, with the hook coming in lacking. Ras comes off a little dissapointing as well, in this vibrant collaboration. Ras keeps it in the family on “It Could Happen To You”. The track features his wife Angie, rapping the third verse about overcoming the struggles of life and marriage. Ras opens up on the track asking of the Most High… “I did my best to catch the fish in the sea/so when I stand before your throne will you still judge me?.” A mellow piano harmonie fills up the speakers on “I Love You Jesus”. Ras counts the many ways he see’s God in his world, through nature, and other people. A very intimate track, Ras states… “sometimes when I pray/I have visions that I’m kneeling by your feet/with my hands pulling your robe, saying ‘father it’s me’/you know I got needs, but I don’t always like to hit you with that… I repent for chasing after vein things… justified what I done/but I know it was sin… if you got plans for my life, do tell/I wanna prepare myself for ’em.” A very introspective track, with the appropriate backdrop provided. The LP ends with a song of hope and encouragement in “Don’t You Give Up”. Ras tells the story of growing up fatherless, and beating the odds and statistics in becoming more than an inmate, crack fiend or a thug in the streets.

The Streets Are White is a fairly solid LP. The main hinderance was the production, which became repetitive and unoriginal after numerous run throughs. With a wider soundscape to work with the album could have been a lot more. The LP is another example of what Lil’ Raskull has been through, and came out of, through all of the years and albums. He wasn’t shy when talking about “spending six years with a label that never payed me dibs.” As it is qouted in the liner notes; “storms may blow and weeds may grow, but an overcomer overcomes all.” That is the story of Lil’ Raskull, and with his own label under his belt, and numerous projects in the works… the story is continued.

Release Date: May 1, 2003

Label: Javo Records

Buy on iTunes

1. Intro
2. How Does It Feel?
3. Vampin’
4. Ice White Shoes
5. Underground Talk
6. Bang
7. Beattittrues
8. Only Way
9. Twisted Talk
10. How Are Real Is God To Ya
11. Overcomer
12. Pettidee & Ras Talk
13. Who Is Who
14. It Could Happen
15. Love
16. I Love Jesus
17. Don’t You Give Up


Written by Rapzilla

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