Not a single bad track on here,
This review is from: It Takes a Thief (Audio CD)
This album portrays a younger, more fun-loving Coolio to his later albums (Gangsta's Paradise, My Soul, El Cool Magnifico).
The album starts with "Fantastic Voyage", one of Coolio's first major hits - with a pumping bass-line, good pace and funky lyrics, it's easy to see why. "County Lines" is a mildly amusing tale of the difficulties of getting a job for a young G; good flow and lyrics. "Mama I'm in Love with a Gangsta" is a nice chilled-out track telling about the difficulties of being locked up away from your family and is another classic; the lyrics tell the story well.
"Hand on my Nut-sac" is a more raw hip-hop track: more smooth flow from C with a catchy rythm. "Ghetto Cartoon" is a pretty funny and original track telling a story of cartoon character gangsters and hustlers. "Smokin Stix" again has good flow, though IMO the beat leaves something to be desired and the hook is a bit lame. "Can-O-Corn" however is another great mellow track that you can listen to over and over again. It tells of Coolio's struggles as a youth, shoplifting out of necessity etc.
"U Know Hoo!": A proper hard-hitting hip-hop beat and lyrics featuring WC who compliments the track well. "It Takes a Thief": The album title track has a good beat and tells an effective narrative, of again, you guessed it, Coolio's thieving activities . While we may not condone the actions told of, the lyrics are well written and delivered. "Bring Back Something fo' the Hood" (Track 10): an average track with an ok beat and lyrics, but nothing special. (Track 11) "In Da Closet" is again a cool chilled-out track telling of Coolio's struggle with his drug habbit.
"On My Way to Harlem": a non-typical, not very hip-hoppy beat; it is not quite clear what the point of this song is but overall it doesn't sound bad. "Sticky Fingers" is yet another story about Coolio's thieving activities and the listener is inclined to agree with his self-assessment of kleptomaniac. This time, however the lyrics are pretty funny and catchy and this song is great for a laugh. "Thought You Knew": finally, another relatively hard-core track with some nice flows. "Ugly Bitches" is another mildly humourous track about the dangers of hooking up with...well as the title says. "I Remember" finishes the album in a cool, mellow way with Coolio et al. reminiscing about their childhoods.
Overall, this is Coolio at his best, with only one or two tracks slightly below par. This and "Gangsta's Paradise" together sum up Coolio pretty well. DEFINITELY worth buying if you liked Coolio's later albums and like tracks that have a clear message or story to tell. If you've never listened to him but are a hip-hop fan, buy it anyway.