interview KURUPT PRESENTS: TANGLED THOUGHTS - Philly 2 Cali | Review By: Lord Funk

Release Date : May 22, 2007
Label : Good Hands Records
Rating: 4/5


Dub Quotable: The DPG affiliation will no doubt attract many West Coast heads, but Tek, Cas and De show enough skills here to shine in their own right."

The latest release from Philadelphia's Tangled Thoughts could be the key to an incredible career. With the backing of new mentor, Tha Dogg Pound’s Kurupt, the PA trio delivers an album that adeptly combines Hip-Hop styles from the East and West Coast. Like Kurupt, the three members of Tangled Thoughts have paid dues on both sides and are ready to be heard.

“Philly 2 Cali” works as a concept album of sorts. An opening interlude features Tangled Thoughts' Tek, Cas and De landing at LAX to be greeted by Kurupt and younger brother Roscoe. The DPG duo promises to introduce the Philly boys to the sights and sounds of Los Angeles. What follows is 70 minutes of premier Hip-Hop boasting rugged East Coast lyricism over distinctive West Coast production.

All three emcees bless the tracks with rapid-fire delivery that showcases their desires and will have you rewinding to catch their more complex rhymes. Tek's flawless flow on the Kurupt and Roscoe-assisted “Jumpoff,” for example, says it all: "Fuck all y'all non-believers, it's T-H-O with Young 'Sco the meanest / And Gotti's heated, ready to release the millimeters / This is south Philly speaking, here to kill the beefing / With a team of guerrillas squeezing until your grill is leaking." The Thoughts' drive must be infectious, as a fiery Kurupt sounds more energized on his five appearances here than he has for years.

The production is equally impressive. Beats like “All I Ever Knew”, “Chedda Chasin” and “Been Thru Sum Thangs” sound as close to the sounds popularized by Dr. Dre as anything outside the Aftermath camp. “Big Bossin” and “Another Night In L.A.,” meanwhile, carry that undeniable West Coast groove.

Admittedly, some of the songs sound out of place. The title track and “Til Tha Sun Come Up” both feature 'screwed' vocals and drawling, synth-heavy beats. These sound more suited to a Rick Ross CD than this East-meets-West themed release. Such songs aren't bad – “Philly 2 Cali” being a great, up-tempo introduction to the album - but it’s bizarre to hear these East Coast rappers profess passion for the West over such syrupy tracks.

Weaker moments are few and far between. Nor Tangled Thoughts, Kurupt, or Gail Gotti can rescue the dreary “Real One” from its redundant beat. Likewise, “These Jawns” is a tired tale of groupie love that sounds like something Snoop's parody group Nine Inch Dix would record. However, these mundane songs suffer because of boring backdrops – the crew’s lyrics are generally stellar throughout.

“Philly 2 Cali” is an exciting album that showcases some new talent with great prospects. The DPG affiliation will attract the West Coast heads, but Tek, Cas and De show enough skills here to shine in their own right.

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