D.I.R.T. does a good job introducing Heltah Skeltah to those who were in junior high when they last dropped while maintaining a connection to their earlier days. Despite their very, very (very) vocal complaints about the current state of Hip Hop, the game doesn't seem to have left them completely behind in their time off. This isn't some throwback, nostalgic moment but a current, relevant version of Heltah Skeltah ("Insane").
That doesn't mean they've changed though, so if you liked the dark, menacing Boot Camp style that they came in with, tracks like "That's Incredible" or "So Damn Tuff" will feel like home (even if they have a few more synths than you might remember). "D.I.R.T. (Another Boot Camp Clik Yeah Song)" should let you know that they're still in touch with their roots by the title alone.
It's mostly a good thing that Ruck and Rock are determined to give their fans what they came for, but a little more evolution wouldn't have killed them. They openly accuse the newest generation of emcees of being one-dimensional and shallow but D.I.R.T. is hardly deep itself. Just about every verse is a verbal assault on the generic wack emceee but it seems like these two have been around long enough that they should have something to talk about other than being hard.
Again, D.I.R.T. is no trip down memeroy lane, but it's still more for those that copped their '98 record than any new inductees. If you ever had Enta Da Stage on tape then this is worth a look, but if you've never owned a cassette tape in your life, this wasn't necessarily made for you. Given Rock's legal issues, Heltah Skeltah could be on the way to another long vacation. Hopefully for them, a follow-up won't take another decade, but at least their music is consistent even if their release schedule is not.