Question: When has Memphis Bleek delivered a top notch album? Maybe his recent "534" album, thats it. As of 2006, he's four albums deep and seems to haven't acquired the status of some [former] Roc-A-Fella artists (i.e. Beanie Sigel, Freeway, Kanye West, etc.) As being Jay-Z's close friend, Jay always says he's one hit away. But giving him the benefit of the doubt, I decided to check out this album for only one reason. The hit song "Is That Your (Chick)" with Jay-Z, Missy Eliott, and Twista. It's ironic because the song was origonally Jay's and was supposed to be on the "Vol. 3: Life And Times Of S. Carter" album, Bleek was just thrown in there...thats why it's subtitled "The Lost Verses".
Anyway there are many other songs on the album too that are below expectations. "We Get Low" is one of these tracks. "Bounce B****" will make you laugh, because of how horrible it sounds, along with the production. And "Everyday" with Carl Thomas, is a prime example of how wack Bleek is. And his good friend Jay-Z doesn't make anything better either on some tracks. "Do My" is one of those tracks that are below both Jay's and Bleek's expectations. But Jay, Beanie Sigel and H. Money Bags will outshine Bleek on the track "My Mind Right".
There are some good songs here thought that I have a feel for. "I Get High" is a laid back track about smoking weed while driving. Bleek and Beans will do a decent job on the song "Change Up" (I wouldn't credit Jay-Z on what he does though). "They'll Never Play Me" Bleek actually flips his word play and makes it a good song. The album's closer "In My Life" is a real good emotional track that I like very much.
As you can hear, Bleek can pull some tracks on his own on this album, but he fails to do on others. In most songs that he makes with a guest, he is outshined (see next album M.A.D.E.). I won't lie though, Bleek has had a somewhat successful career, because he stood in Jay-Z's shadow. Trust me, if he was on his own, he would have fallen off real fast, and would have never have made it to "534". I guess if you're a Bleek fan or want to hear one of his albums, go ahead and cop this. Otherwise, save your money.
Guest Appearances: B-
Musical Vibes: C-
Fav Tracks: I Get High, My Mind Right (Remix), They'll Never Play Me, Is That Your (Chick) [The Lost Verses], In My Life