adakiss has always been one of the more witty rappers out there. Sure, like most rappers, he suffers from a severe ego problem -- he definitely thinks he is the best out there. Case in point: "Who's the best since BIG's not around?/Y'all know the answer when Kiss ain't around" Is he the best though? A better question would be if Kiss is even the best rapper in his clique, the LOX.
Before the release of Kiss the Game Goodbye, Jadakiss had been, as is the popular saying, "spitting straight fire" on records for a while. His verses on the songs "Ryde or Die", "Got it All", and "WWIII" showed the Kiss may well be ready for a solo album. Unfortunately, this CD proves that he, in fact, isn't even close. Jadakiss is the type of rapper that belongs on guest appearances and in group stuff. He's witty, but often too monotonous and mechanical. If Jadakiss isn't talking about the "mamis", or his cocaine dealings, he's talking about busting a gat at other rappers. There is not one concept song or song with an actual message on Kiss the Game Goodbye. It's all just stupid crap, for lack of a better term. Every song that has a guest rap on the first half of the CD, the guest rappers are better than Kiss. Nas appears on "Show Discipline" and makes Jada look like a nothing. Styles P, from the LOX, shines well on both "We Gon' Make It" and "None of Y'all Betta", and it breaks the cardinal rule of making a rap album: Don't let your guests outshine you. Jadakiss did not believe in this and therefore looks like an amateur compared to his more polished mates.
However, Kiss the Game Goodbye isn't terrible. The first half of the CD is actually pretty decent, as Jadakiss managed to grab some high-profile beat makers. Alchemist provides one of his best beats on "We Gon' Make It", and DJ Premier brings his signature sound on "None of Y'all Betta". Timbaland brings his normal sound on "Nasty Girl", and the Neptunes show up on "Knock Yourself Out". The problem is these beats are wasted on Jadakiss. His lyrics just aren't varied enough to be good. While he is somewhat witty and provides a great line once in a while (the best on the album being "Y'all scared I could tell/that I'ma get Bucks like Milwaukee/'cause like Sam I Casell"), you can only take so much of the same subject over and over again. This is probably why the second half of the CD is so terrible. The raps just keep getting more and more of the same, and the second half of the CD is mostly produced by Swizz Beatz. If you haven't heard Swizz Beats, just imagine a keyboard demo over and over again, and there you have his sound. Any song after song 10 is nearly unbearable.
It's possible that when Jadakiss was in the studio, the people surrounding him were people who just wanted his approval. His studio friends could have been telling him "Oh, yeah, Kiss, that's hot, man", but, truth be told, it isn't. Jadakiss belongs with two better rappers, Sheek and Styles of the LOX, and only appearing on a third of every song, all the while trying to work on his subject matter. He doesn't belong with a solo CD, especially not one with more than 20 tracks, including some truly awful skits. Kiss the Game Goodbye? How 'bout "Kiss the Kiss Goodbye", because nobody in their right mind should be forced to listen to the whole CD.
Reviewed by: Brett Berliner
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01