Search - Ras Kass :: Rasassination

Rasassination
Ras Kass
Rasassination
Genres: Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
 
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1


      
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CD Details

All Artists: Ras Kass
Title: Rasassination
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Priority Records
Original Release Date: 9/22/1998
Release Date: 9/22/1998
Genres: Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
Styles: West Coast, Pop Rap
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 049925073928, 0049925073959, 049925073911, 049925073959, 0724384669751, 724384669720

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CD Reviews

Oh, the difficulty of making that second album!
Big F | Mäntsälä Mielessäin, Finland | 05/25/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This disc is one of those 'disappointing sophomore albums'. Not that 'Rasassination' is bad, it's just that the sparkling debut 'Soul On Ice' was so good. 'Rasassination' features more guest artists than 'Soul On Ice', therefore the artist himself doesnt get the opportunity to shine so brightly. But when Ras shines, he shines BRIGHT. Just listen to tracks like 'H20Proof', 'Conceited Bastard' or the title track, and you'll understand why people call Ras Kass one of the best true lyricists out west. He doesnt over-use metaphors, his flow is sick and the fact that the production on this album is so much better than on the debut helps out a lot. The only problem with Ras' rapping technique is his voice, which is somewhat average. The essential hit track is the Xzibit, Jah Skillz and Phil Da Agony-featured 'Wild Pitch', with its fast beat and slick delivery. Jah Skillz, a relatively unknown female rapper, doesnt impress with her lyrics, but her flow is somehow captivating. There are wack moments too, almost too much of them. 'Lapdance' (with RC) is probably one of the wackest attempts to make a party track I've ever heard, and the lyrics are just straight up nonsense. 'Grindin' (with Bad Azz) is from the same mold with its cheesy chorus and wack beat. Bad Azz whining on the track doesnt make it better either. 'It Is What It Is' (with Jazze Pha) is so stereotypical and clicheéd it almost hurts. The hook is one of the worst I've ever heard. But if there's a true diamond on this album, its definitely the epic 'Interview With A Vampire', where Ras plays the parts of a human, God and Satan. One of the best philosophical hip hop tracks ever, straight up. In conclusion, definitely not a bad album, but most definitely not a great one either. I'd say somewhere between 'pretty good' and 'good'."
Strong 4/5
A. Swain | Coral Gables, Florida United States | 11/04/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"1. Endtro
2. Rassassination (****)
3. Ghetto Fabulous. Feat. Dr. Dre and Mack 10. (*****)
4. Ice Age. (*)
5. Skit #1
6. Conceited Bastard. (**)
7. Ice Age. Feat. Kurupt and El Drex. (***)
8. In A Coogi Sweatshirt.
9. H20 Proof. Feat. Saafir. (****)
10. It Is What It Is. Feat. Jazze Pha. (****)
11. Interview with A Vampire. (*****)
12. Wild Pitch. Feat. Xzibit, Jah Skills and Phil Da Agony. (***)
13. Ooh Wee. (***)
14. All or Nuthin'. Feat. Twista. (***)
15. Grindin'. Feat. Bad Azz. (**)
16. I Ain't F*cking With You. (**)
17. Get At Me. (***)
18. The End. Feat. RZA. (***)

After the decent opening "Endtro", the kick-off track happens to be the title track. "Rassassination" powers in with Stu-B-Doo's brassy horns dominating the track, and Ras spitting a fabulous opening line: "You ain't got enough calcium to have a bone to pick wit me". He then continues, bragging with remarkable confidence (most would call it arrogance), boasting a set of witty, clever braggadocios rhymes: "Write my rhymes in alien and battle n----s in sign language/ Cowards make a little cheese then enlarge/ artificially, like Pamela Anderson Lee's double D's, please/ I'm bangin from Belize to Tel Aviv on the Red Sea/ Racin' Saddam Hussein on Kawasaki jet ski's".

"Ghetto Fabulous", again sporting a menacing Stu-B-Doo beat with synthesized strings, a haunting bassline and ramming percussion, is darker in tone, with Dr. Dre surprisingly taking a stab at rapping alongside Ras about livin' it up in the `ghetto'. Mack 10 lends some powerful clout to the chorus, but Ras' lyrical skill again shines through: "Want Juice like Tupac, then Obey Your Thirst clown/ Be in the PJ's in NY, rockin DK/ Mix EJ with OJ, OK, we say. "L.A. n----z got crazy game/ like John Elway got a super-bowl ring". I>"H20 Proof" is one of the better tracks on the LP, over a raw, compressed Big Jaz beat Ras laments the lack of support for underground artists. He spits some nice lines: "I'm nice, that's probably why I don't be f--kin with Sprite/ Cause thirst is nothin, image is everything on the mic/ These days, these DJs get paid under the table/ Pay the most popular producer on the most popular label/ Pay for full page ads in the most popular magazine/ Now you got the most popular new artist/ Guaranteed the air we breathe is thin, better tell her/ Then I'ma choke the bit-h out at 11:59, reveal the real Cinderella/ (AAAAAAHHHHHHH!) When two hydrogen's reach my oxygen atom/ You can't gat 'em or get at 'em/ Anatomically designed to be solar, f--k the rap star/ When I die I want n---s doing drive-by's with my ashes in the car

What is established here is that Ras is without a doubt a stunning emcee. His numerous metaphorical-contemporary culture references reminds me a lot of the style of Outsidaz' frontman Pacewon, and his inventive use of language surpasses many of his peers. He has supreme confidence, and can pull of difficult concept tracks like "Interview with a Vampire". Standing at 6:55 long, it is the sole track on "Rassassination" that can compete for sheer class with anything found on "Soul On Ice". With this track Ras raps as part of a three-way conversation with God and Satan debating the creation of the human race, the creation of the earth/universe and various social issues. Klev's "apocalyptic" beat is deeply atmospheric with powerful, thick synthesizers ripping through a slow, stop-start bassline and some chilling chimes. Stunning. Unforunately, this is close to the point where "Rassassination" stops being a 5 star album. It then falls, somewhat drastically.

You see, with Ras' attempts to make a bit more scrilla, he's ended up by throwing in a lot of half-arsed collaborations, some HORRIBLE beats, and a whole pile of stinking jigginess. Stu-B-Doo immediately undoes all his previous good work with "Lapdance", featuring all of the aforementioned curses, as Ras raps sleazily about lapdancers and strip-clubs. This is an absolute STINKER - by far the worst Ras Kass song I've ever heard. "I Ain't F-kin With You" and "Grindin'" (featuring DPGC member Bad Azz) are tedious, uninspired trips through Gangsta rap territory, somewhere that a man of Ras' talent should stay the hell away from. Ras then invites speed-rap merchant Twista onto "All Or Nothing", a horrendously misguided track. Ras' mere style and lyrics are not suited to fast-paced beats and fast rhyme schemes; his lengthy bars are suited more to slower stuff. It's no wonder he's left completely outclassed and tounge-tied.

As an overall track "Ice Age" is decent, but Kurupt's nonsensical braggadocio ("Rearranged, restructured, recomposed and decomposed/ Disassembled, dismembered, reconstructed, polished"... WTF?) and Ras Kass' horrible `playa-hater' lyrics spoil things. A bad effort from two emcee's who are always much better. "It Is What It Is", featuring soul crooner Jazze Phe, shouldn't be good but actually is - with some nice lyrics and a sickly sweet beat. "Wild Pitch", notably featuring Xzibit, and "Oohwee", while sticking solely to tedious gangsta fare, has a pretty nice beat, but can't escape the fact both tracks are strictly tolerable.

With "Rassassination" Ras Kas has pitched his tent far too broadly - he's changed what he's about as an artist in an (vein) attempt to try and capture a larger slice of the pie. It has failed - while the LP does have its moments - for the majority it falls strictly into the sad category of average. What makes its worse is that Ras Kass is truly a highly talented artist who should Not be coming out with mediocre dross like this. Hopefully, his new LP "Goldyn Child" can redress this. That's if we're still not...
"
Failure To Launch {3 Stars}
Norfeest | Washington DC USA | 09/17/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"I'm not sure how many people remember when this album dropped, but this was the album that was supposed to launch Ras Kass' career into the same stratosphere as the likes of Jay Z, Big, Pac, and Snoop as far as record sales and spins are concerned. It's pretty much evident with the big name guests (Twista, Dr. Dre, Mack 10, RZA, etc..), big name producers (Dre, Jazzy Pha, etc..), and unnecessary/awful skits. In other words, this album was supposed to make Ras a star. What hurts a lot of the album is the amount of filler and crossover tracks. Joints like "Lapdance", "All Or Nuthin", and the Jazzy Pha produced "It Is What It Is" only serve to alienate the heads that ran out and bought Soul On Ice without hesitation. As if that wasn't bad enough, joints like "Oohwee", "Grindin", and "Conceited B*stard" should've never seen the light of day. We all know Ras Kass can spit with the best, which he does on this LP, but a lot of the production is limp, hollow, and lazy.

There are some dope cuts sprinkled throughout the album though. The title track (Rasassination), "Wild Pitch" (which the underrated Xzibit absolutely kills), and "H2O Proof" are perfect examples of what Ras Kass can do when his mind is right, the versatile "The End" features The RZA, and I still like "Ghetto Fabulous" eight years after its release. Another good, yet strange, track is "Interview With A Vampire" which revisits his earlier classic "Nature Of The Threat" and has some strange credits on it (God & Satan?).

Rasassination isn't necessarily a bad album, but hold on to your money if you're expecting Soul On Ice II. You won't find that here. In 1998 Ras Kass aimed for the stars, missed his mark, and alienated his fan base with this album. To be honest, with label and legal issues, I don't think his career has recovered from this album yet. There are some gems, but nothing that would justify buying this brand new. I can only recommend buying this if you can find it used.

Standout Tracks: The End feat. The RZA, Interview With A Vampire feat. God & Satan, Rasassanation, H2O Proof feat. Saafir, Wild Pitch feat. Xzibit & Jah Skillz (My Favorite), and Ghetto Fabulous feat. Dr. Dre & Mack 10"