It seems as though she pulled out all the stops to live up to the title of her long-overdue second release, doesn’t it? Production from a singular high-end producer, check; baby-picture cover art, check; limiting the track number to the magical yet dangerous 10 track length of Illmatic; check.
But in all honesty, there was very little chance that it would actually end up being categorized in the manner that it’s title suggests — even with the nearly 100% certified-banger-ratio of Nottz’ production. (Remember, this is the man who’s beat CD once yielded the first 3 tracks on Busta Rhymes’ E.L.E. in the very same order that they appeared on the demo.)
As far as Digga goes, she’s all grown up now, and while the voltage that once charged her vocals has dwindled with age, she’s still more or less the same artist with the throaty bad-bitch delivery who spewed that feminine-yet-masculine tough-talk all over Dirty Harriet’s 18 tracks. Here she manages to keep it short and sweet, delivering good ol’ fashioned MC battle raps on each of Nottz’s thumping beats without over-extending herself lyrically or conceptually. In fact, the only real disappointment on the album happens to be the lone concept track — the internet-themed “Viral.” This only shows that Digga’s 10 years away from the mic have given her some serious time to contemplate exactly how she fits into the rap game. The result is a project that actually turns out to be far more cohesive than her debut.
While the face-scrunching sickness of Nottz’s production is probably reason enough to hop on iTunes and add another $10 to your credit card balance, there’s something special about the way those head-nodding sounds of his always seem to mesh flawlessly with the voice that we came to know and love 10 years ago. As far as I’m concerned, Rah Digga has always been defined by her attitude. And aside from the aforementioned misstep, that’s all you’ll get with this one.