Ventilation: Da LP
Record label: Groove Attack
Format: 2xLP/CD
Release date: August 2000

I should've known what to expect just from the title. Phife was seriously underrated while in Tribe, and the time that he's spent in Q-Tip's shadow has clearly taken its toll. Check it: in an age of guest spot-ridden hip-hop albums, the five footer dropped his solo debut with nary a collab to be found (save for that hot joint "4 Horsemen" with No Name). Not sure who produced most of the album, but a number of familiar names pop up. Would you believe Hi-Tek & Pete Rock both come up stale behind the boards ("D.R.U.G.S." and "Lemme Find Out", respectively)? And Supa Dav West really needs to stop singing wack-ass hooks ("Beats, Rhymes and Phife"). If you've heard "Flawless" and "Bend Ova", you've pretty much heard it all. Phife's still bringin' it raw on the lyrical tip, but I wonder if it's from the heart or from a stomach full of bile. Right now, I'd have to lean towards the latter choice. I mean, he ain't Jeru The Damaja type mad yet, but he's gettin' real close. DAYUM...

{vic feedle}

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