Reviewed by Julian Wilson

Skip-Dawg/The Illest Emcee

Not to make light of the situation, but there was a point in his life where Skip-Dawg was, indeed, the illest emcee, having to undergo a lung operation. Such a serious life-threatening event can make you look at the world, and your place in it, with a different pair of eyes and ears. Sure enough, nearly every cut on The Illest Emcee is about a slice of human existence, whether it’s the art of making love (“Times in My Life”), violence (“Here We Go Again”), or dealing with the possibility of death itself (“Cousins Track…To Say Goodbye).” It’s all strung together with an upbeat spirit, the soul of a fighter.

However, not everything is serious. “Come Along” is a five-star party anthem, the kind of hip-hop track you blast in your car as it bounces up and down the highway. The Dawg probably needed some escapism on here, and “Come Along” provides that nicely.