Havoc - 13 (Review)

Havoc - 13 (cover)

"13" is the third solo album released by emcee/producer Havoc, following 2009's "Hidden Files". The album was released on May 7, 2013 and features appearances from Styles P, Raekwon, Lloyd Banks, Twista and Royce da 5'9", among others. Havoc produces pretty much all songs on the album, except where noted in the review.

1) Gone - Props to Havoc for starting the album out with a song and not a skit. The beat on here is crazy and hits hard. Havoc spits his typical dark, violent lyrics:
"2013, funny how time flyin'
It ain’t a thing changed in regard to the iron
Hit you motherfuckers, go push it to the essence
Hollow-tip slugs that’ll pierce through the vests"
Great way to start off the album. This song bangs.

2) Favorite Rap Stars (featuring Styles P and Raekwon) - Another ill instrumental, this time with a funky bass-line, some hand claps and a guitar lick that comes in occassionally. All three emcees spit fire on here, but Havoc really shines:
"Cannons bigger than me, we go deaf when we shoot 'em
And niggas on the floor with they cerebellum oozin
Every homie I brand with them featured on Gangland
Ice picks in pencil pockets and nines on they waistbands"
This is definitely a banger. Very dope song.

3) Life We Chose (featuring Lloyd Banks) - This album is crazy so far. Havoc and FMG share productions duties on this song, which has a hard-hitting bass, dark keyboards and an ill vocal sample that gives the beat a more cinematic feel. Both Havoc and Lloyd Banks rip the beat, as expected. I found it interesting that Havoc addresses the Twitter beef between himself and the other half of Mobb Deep, Prodigy, on here:
"Got these cowards out plotting on me, red dotting for me
Blast 'em with the clapper, know I keep the ratchet on me
All that beefing shit is corny, nigga, faker than the Twitter beef"

Another absolute banger.

4) Colder Days (featuring Masspike Miles) - Havoc and FMG collaborate once again on another dope ass instrumental. As on the previous song, the beat hits hard and has an ill guitar sample running throughout the instrumental. So far most of the beats sound like some bangers straight out of the 90's that Havoc rebuilt to have a more modern sound, which is definitely a good thing. Havoc is spitting hard on here as well while Masspike Miles doesn't really come in much until after the third verse. Dope song.

5) Get Busy - This song has another dark beat that will have your head nodding. The instrumental is basically a haunting piano loop and vocal sample over some hard drums. Havoc has been spitting fire throughout the entire album so far and this track is no exception. Nice.

6) Eyes Open (featuring Twista) - This is the most uptempo song so far, which is not a surprise given that Twista has a guest verse. As is usual for a Mobb Deep record (solo and group), the beat is dark and the lyrics are violent. Twista sounds really good over this instrumental. I'm not sure why he has been making softer songs recently, but this is the lane he should stay in. I really like this song.

7) Tell Me To My Face (featuring Royce da 5'9") - This was the first single from the album and the last song that Havoc shares production credits with FMG on. The beat is raw and both emcees address the haters:
"Shorty get with the movement, stop living that illusion
The niggas you look up to is under my influence
Yeah, your Grammy artists and your Moon-man winners
I’m the reason why they even got a speech to deliver
I’m certified hood, anywhere I go I’m good
If you knew better you’d do better, you wouldn’t if you could"
Another banger.

8) This World (featuring Masspike Miles) - This is the first song on the album that is not produced by Havoc in some manner. Instead, the beat is by Royce Music Group, but it sounds like it could be a Havoc production. The organ on here reminds me somewhat of the organ on Mobb Deeps "Still Shinin", but that is where the comparison ends since this song is much softer, has some pianos sprinkled throughout the instrumental and lacks that dope vocal sample. I'm not really feelin the chorus by Masspike Miles too much, but the rest of the song is pretty good. This is probably the weakest song on here so far, but it's far from terrible.

9) Already Tomorrow - The beat on this song is much more energetic than the previous song and it's pretty dope. I like the violins that come in during the chorus. Havoc spits some depressing bars about life:
"Entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts
Gotta celebrate life, not worship stacks
Of money you can't take with you when it all goes black"
This is pretty good, but not a standout track for me.

10) Hear Dat - This beat is DOPE. The vocal sample and chimes are crazy and the bass hits hard. Havoc is spitting venom on here too. The only thing I'm not really feelin on this one is the chorus. It's a bit too repetitive, but doesn't really detract from the song much. Dope shit.

11) Gettin Mines - Havoc teams up with Andrew Lloyd and Team Green Productions for the haunting instrumental on this song. This beat is dark and desolate, yet beautiful at the same time. Havoc raps about getting his regardless of the consequences. This is very dope.

12) Long Road (Outro) - Havoc delivers a few lines in a slower, spoken word style over a nice piano loop. This is pretty good, but I don't think I'll listen to it much more outside of this review since its more of a short outro than a song.

13) Cant Sleep (Bonus) - Static Selektah comes through with a dope piano-based instrumental that should get your head nodding while Havoc spits his usual hardcore, violent lyrics. I'm really feelin this song.

I'm going to rate the album a

4 / 5

since most of this LP is banging. The album starts off really strong, falters a little in the middle, then picks right back up in the end. Havoc's production is top notch and kept my head nodding throughout the entire album. The beats sound reminiscent of 90's bangers, but modernized and full of that classic Mobb Deep sound. Hav definitely delivers with the lyrics as well, as do all of the guests. I wasn't feeling a beat or chorus here or there, but for the most part all of this stuff is very ill. I can't imagine any fan of Havoc's prior work (solo or with Mobb Deep) not liking this album.