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Westside Connection

Memo to Ice Cube, Mack 10 and WC, the trio known as Westside Connection: All major combat operations have ceased. Sure, that would be a debatable point in the so-called war on terror. But on the East Coast-West Coast, O.G.-No G, and pimps and ho's fronts, Westside is throwin' down in a hazy fog.

On Terrorist Threats, Westside's long-awaited follow-up to 1996's Bow Down, Cube and crew diss, clown and punk like it was, well, seven years ago, over the same regurgitated G-funk synth and by-eeyi-eeyi-ouncy beats every West Coast act this side of Crenshaw has laid down since the early '90s resurrection of George Clinton. On "So Many Rappers in Love," a harp-riddled goof on hip-pop stars like Ja Rule and P. Diddy, Westside does its best Chunky A impersonation, and generates even fewer laughs than that ill-advised Arsenio goof. For "Gangsta Nation," the album's first single, Westside throws Nate Dogg a bone and brings out the master of droning vibrato for what hopefully is his final curtain call. Sadly, "Gangsta Nation" is Terrorist Threats' best and most tolerable track, at least until that damned G-funk synth plays heavy over Dogg's "Na na na na na na na na," thereby rivaling Journey's "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" for most "na's" in a song.

Actor Keith David (Barbershop, Requiem for a Dream) lends his baritone theatrics to "A Threat to the World," the intro to Terrorist Threats in which he declares that "our future is in grave danger," and that Cube, Mack 10 and WC are our saviors. From whom or for what is anybody's guess.


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