June 04, 2014

Jadakiss "The Champ Is Here" (Mixtape, 2004)

Jadakiss is one of the greatest and most revered lyricists in Hip-Hop, but he does not have a classic studio album. His albums have fallen in that gap between what fans want and expect, and what his label will accept and consider a success. Fans feel like he abandons what he's best at, but it's the price he pays for a major label deal vs. being independent. That's his choice but to his credit, he navigates it best he can, maintaining his top-tier spot through mixtapes, feature work and an occasional single that clicks (ie: "Why"). An example of this would be Jada's 2004 release: “The Champ Is Here.” It is arguably one of the greatest artist mixtapes ever to be released. From the best album cuts, freestyles and well-placed features, it packs everything you'd need and want from a mixtape. He may not have a classic album, but he has a classic mixtape and to that end, he feeds the streets, the corporations and his family all at the same time. For that, I salute him and think to myself, maybe his best effort is his next effort. It was released 10 years ago this month, listen and see if it's not as dope today as it was in 2004. Hosted by Green Lantern & Big Mike. (Updated link)