B-Legit -- Block Movement (SMC/Sick Wid It)

Album Review by Garrett Caples
San Francisco Bay Guardian January 11, 2006

Apart from cousin E-40, B-Legit is the most accomplished rapper from Vallejo's Sick Wid It camp, his danked-out baritone providing the ideal complement to 40's high-pitched, hyperspeed delivery. With two mid-'90s discs for Jive, and two on Koch earlier this century, Block Movement is B-La's fifth solo album, and it shows just how far the Bay Area's original Savage has evolved since his most popular release, The Hemp Museum (Jive, 1996). Where that album relied heavily on 40's early blueprint – a solid mob foundation by the likes of Studio Ton and Mike Mosley – Block Movement shows B-La cultivating a distinct artistic sensibility. Other than 40's guest spot on "Guess Who's Back," produced by longtime associate Rick Rock, the album's best tracks – "Sick Wid It" (Damon Todd), "Trap Game" (Bedrock and Clyde Carson), "Get High" (One Drop Scott) – have little resemblance to 40's recent hyphy phase, taking advantage instead of the sheer depth of B's voice to explore more atmospheric vocal effects. This tendency is heightened by appearances from vocalists Harm and Naté on a trio of tracks produced by LJ, recalling his work on BavGate's The InstaGator (Black Mafia/Thizz, 2004).

The only missteps on Block Movement result from the few obvious attempts to ensure regional crossover success: "Block 4 Life," with Jadakiss and Styles P; "Where Dem Hoes At," with Paul Wall; and the crunk snoozefest "Handle Up." That's part of the game these days, but the album gains immeasurably by excluding these. Otherwise, Block Movement shows B-Legit has fully come into his own.

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