Cappadonna - Hook Off (Review)

Cappadonna - Hook Off (Review) (Essence of Hip-Hop)

"Hook Off" is the latest album from Wu-Tang Clan emcee Cappadonna. The album features guest appearances from PMD, Spliff Star, Solomon Childs, Amar Divine, Lounge Low and others as well as production from Vocab, Cruise for Bugatti Beats, DJ Intrigue and others, but mostly all production is handled by Virginia based hip-hop producer J-Clyde. It was released on June 17, 2014 via Protect-Ya-Neck Records.

1) Soul Food (featuring Turnpike Ike and Desert Eagle) - The first song on the album features Cappadonna linking up with Turnpike Ike and Desert Eagle over a head nodding instrumental with a soulful vocal loop and stomping drums. This is my first time ever hearing anything from Turnpike Ike and Desert Eagle and they sound good enough while Cappa actually sounds kinda hungry on here. Not a bad way to kick off the album, but those intermittent air horns and laser sounds need to go. - 3.5/5

2) Raw (featuring Amar Divine, Lounger Low and Don Shae) - The beat on this track is much harder than the first, with a chopped up jazz sample over more stomping boom-bap drums. The lasers and air horns make another appearance (which is unfortunate), but the beat is nice and everyone featured comes correct over it. - 3/5

3) Vegan (featuring Amar Divine and Turnpike Ike) - This was one of the singles released in promotion of the album and it's actually pretty good. I wasn't really feelin' the beat the first time I heard the song, but it grew on me after a while. As far as the rhymes go, Cappa, Amar Divine and Turnpike Ike all come through and spit some more of the boastful, punchline heavy verses similar to the past two songs. Unsurprisingly, this song has nothing to do with vegans. - 3.25/5

4) Natural Disaster (featuring Amar Divine, Lounger Low and Wonda Woman) - Cappadonna teams up with his little bother Lounge Lo, Amar Divine and female emcee Wonda Woman over a soaring string sample that I'm really feelin'. Lyrically the song is mostly the same as all of the others and those damn air horns keep popping up, but this is nice. - 3.5/5

5) Adams and Eve (featuring Wonda Women, Amar Divine and Solomon Childs) - This song features long time Wu-Tang affiliate Solomon Childs as well as Woman Woman and Amar Divine sharing the mic with Cappuccino over a harder instrumental. Everyone sounds kinda hungry on here and the beat is dope. Not bad. - 3.5/5

6) Vibes Cartel (featuring Wonda Women, Desert Eagle and King Magnetic) - The instrumental on this cut samples The Stylistics classic song "We Can Make It Happen Again", which is one of my favorite samples of all time. Lyrically the song is pretty dope as well, with Papi Wardrobe King teaming up with the usual suspects as well as Army of the Pharoah's King Magnetic. So far this album is a lot better than Cappa's last album in my opinon. - 4/5

7) 1 and 9 (featuring Unique, GQ and Don Shae) - This song is little darker than the past few, with Cappadonna, Unique, GQ and Don Shae all rapping over a somewhat forgettable beat and more air horns. I'm not feelin' this one that much. Bleh. - 1.5/5

8) Famous Aimers (featuring Amar Divine, Don Shae and PMD) - Now this is better. This song finds Cappadonna, Amar Divine, Don Shae and PMD (from the legendary hip-hop group EPMD) rapping over a chopped up soul sample and boom-bap drums. As with the rest of the album, the beat is pretty nice and everyone is just spitting darts over it. - 3.5/5

9) Help the Brovas (featuring Amar Divine and Spliff Star) - This track is kind of unique since it features a verse from Spliff Star, who was part of Busta Rhyme's Flipmode Squad way back in the day. I haven't heard a verse from Spliff in years and him, Cappadonna and Amar Divine all sound real nice over the soulful beat on here. Another surprisingly dope track. - 4/5

10) Alumni (featuring Amar Divine and Don Shae) - This song is very similar to many of the other tracks on the album, with Cappuccino, Amar Divine and Don Shae all spitting some street rhymes over a soulful boom-bap instrumental. It's nothing amazing, but it's not bad at all. At least the album has been pretty consistent. - 3/5

11) Spiritual Love (featuring Amar Divine and Nakeeba Amaniyea) - I think this is one of the only conceptual track on the project so far, with Cappadonna, Amar Divine and Nakeeba Amaniyea all kicking some rhymes about "spiritual love" over a soulful sample. I know this sample, but can't place it for some reason. Anyways, I'm feelin' this one too. - 3/5

12) Genoside (featuring Don Shae) - The beat on this cut has a kind of cinematic feel to it, with epic strings and ambient noises over hard hitting drums. Lyrically the song just finds Cappa and Don Shae talking some shit over the beat, but this is kinda cool. - 3/5

13) Feed My Folks (featuring Nakeeba Amaniye) - Cappadonna reunites with Nakeeba Amaniye over a celebratory soul sample that is held back from being real dope by the frequent air horns that keep coming in over the beat. Lyrically the song is kind of odd as well, with Cappa rapping his second verse in a Jamaican accent. Eh, not really feelin' this one. - 1.5/5

14) Aluma Knotty (featuring Amar Divine and Show Stoppa) - This song lowers the energy level a bit, with a mellow piano loop over light drums and other ambient noises (like sirens and gunshots). The beat is ok and everyone sounds good enough over it, but this one is just kind of forgettable. - 2/5

15) Project Kids (featuring Amar Divine and Show Stoppa) - This is a little better though, with the same emcees from the previous song rapping over a more soulful instrumental. The beat is kinda nice and everyone is on point, rapping about growing up in the projects. - 3/5

16) C.A.P.P.A. (featuring Amar Divine) - Cappadonna and Amar Divine team up over the most modern sounding beat on the project so far, with some synthesizers and a string sample over trap drums. This isn't really what I want to hear Cappa rapping over and I'm not really feelin' his flow on this one. Meh. - 2/5

17) Parkhill Avenue Crew (featuring Chunky and Kash Verrazono) - The final song on the album finds Cappadonna linking up with Chunky and Kash Verrazono (neither of whom I'm familiar with) over a real nice instrumental. The beat is pretty dope and everyone sounds hungry on here. I'm feelin' this one. - 3.5/5

I'm going to rate the album

3 / 5

because there are some good tracks on here, but there is some filler as well. The beats are pretty hit or miss throughout, with some real bangers mixed in with some mediocre instrumentals. Lyrically the album fares a little better than the production, with Cappadonna and a multitude of guests all spitting their usual street rhymes on pretty much every track. The large number of features coupled with the air horns and a few mastering issues on some tracks causes the project to feel more like a mixtape than an actual album in some places. With that being said, there are a number of bangers on here and Cappa's crew is actually pretty solid with the rhymes. All in all, the album is pretty good but borderlines on being forgettable while still being head and shoulders above his last release "Eyrth, Wynd and Fyre".


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