The Mob Figaz Meet Marvaless -- 3 Da Hard Way (FriscoStreetShow.com)

Album Review by Garrett Caples
San Francisco Bay Guardian January 25, 2006

Except for a retrospective Best of (Thizz), Pittsburg's own Mob Figaz spent 2005 in divide-and-conquer mode. Particularly hot were Rydah J. Klyde – who dropped two duo discs (El Pueblo Children with Freako and Bang Fo Bread with Johnny Cash as Money Gang) and a solo What's Really Thizzin? (all on Thizz) – and Jacka, whose solo debut, The Jack Artist (Artist), generated a huge buzz in the early part of the year. The present disc, teaming Jacka and fellow Figa Husalah with tough-talkin' Sac Town female rapper Marvaless, is one of the tightest side-projects in hip-hop history. If this were a full-time trio, they'd be a hardcore Fugees. It doesn't hurt that most of the tracks are produced by Rob-Lo, who provides ample evidence of why people speak of him in the hushed tones reserved for Rick Rock or E-A-Ski. He cooks up tracks in every style, yet everything he does is his own.

With all eyes on Klyde and Jacka, picking Husalah as your favorite Mob Figa is a bit like claiming George as your favorite Beatle, but I'm convinced that, like George, whose interest in India added unexpected depth to the band's psychedelia, Husalah is the Mob's special ingredient, bringing a sublime ridiculousness to every track. Witness "Shower Posse," a faux-dancehall gem that Husalah handles in a patois of Jamaican slang and invented nonsense, or "Moblife," where he phones in some vocals from the freeway. This willingness to go the extra creative mile is what distinguishes the Mob from every other thugged-out crew out there.

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