Time is Money
Styles has made quite a name for himself in Hip Hop - on and off the mic. So when he says Time Is Money, we know that he knows just what he's talking about. He's spent a good portion of that time on several iron vacations and also in a musically stagnated state due to label disputes with The Shiny Suit Man himself. Regardless of these setbacks, The Mighty Mighty D-Block has managed to persevere and remain to be one of the most lyrically ferocious and respected crews in today's Hip Hop world. Panero takes his time on this joint to show us why there's more than one member of his crew that should be considered top five, dead or alive.
On Time, Styles attempts to please all audiences, which can be good and bad. The album jumps off in classic D-Block style with "G Joint," which finds the elder, P, and the younger, Hood, spitting it just like the day you fell in love with their style. On "Testify," the unlikely pairing with Reflection Eternal's own Kweli with Hi-Tek on the beat provides a pleasant surprise of instant chemistry. On tracks like this, it becomes evident that Styles is setting himself apart from the rest of the so-called bang-bang-shoot-em-up cats by doing what is also being done by fellow New Yorker Saigon, and spitting street and knowledge...not just street knowledge.
"Real Shit" features the late great Gerald Levert on the hook, and is pretty self explanatory. Next, we move on to "Who Want A Problem," where The Lox join Swizz and take us back to '99 in the post-Bad Boy era. Kiss gives everyone a run for their money with lines like "I'm comin, the fourth quarter/So I'ma just give you the summer to tread water/Way they wrote it down in the paper it said slaughter/Found him in the tub with nothin but red water." "Favorite Drug" flips a much grimier version of the "Crystal Waters" sample used by T.I. last year. While this song adds another chapter to the :Ryde Or Die Chick" saga "Kick I Like That" is more of an attempt to grab the mainstream with stories of conquests of the opposite sex. The Akon-featured, Lil Jon-produced "Can You Believe It" is definitely a stretch and is way outside of the realm of Holiday Styles. These few blunders definitely put a damper on the album but do not completely rain it out.
There are a few songs where the tracks don't exactly bring the best out of P, ("Fire and Pain" and "Burn One Down") however; the lyricism is as always undeniable. The jewel of this album has to be Havoc's creation, "How We Live." Here, he gives us another quotable that is top five worthy, "The cash ain't right there, the mask is right there/Niggas try P I'ma blast em right there/You don't want your right ear/next to your Nike Airs/Send em from the dark side bringin em light here." These are exactly the type of bars that keep us checking for The Lox and which made 50 Cent (before he got pissed off) proclaim that "All the other hard niggas, they come from Yonkers."
Overall, Time Is Money is a solid album and will satisfy the die-hard fans, of course not without a few exceptions. Styles has managed to drop a solid body of work this time around and has not compromised his lyricism even though some of the beat choices are in question. It's difficult to really assess this album considering that some of the material is a couple years old now; it isn't his fault but it does affect the album in negative way. So how do you call it? I guess it depends on how you look at it, we definitely want to see him win this time, and he's doing everything to make sure he does.