Review: Swizz Beatz's 'POISON' is redundant


Swizz Beatz has never been known for his bars.

He has become somewhat of a meme in the hip-hop community in the past, which has led to fans editing songs he produced for other artists. These edits would often remove entire verses he contributed to the songs in question.

The last time he released a full-length solo album was “One Man Band Man” in 2007. Swizz Beatz is not a heavy hitter in solo hip-hop.

He is, however, revered among other artists and has produced songs for artists such as Jay-Z, DMX and Beyoncé.

“Pistol On My Side” is the first non-instrumental track on the album. Featuring Lil Wayne for most of the verses, it mostly resembles any other Lil Wayne song. In fact, it seems out of place, as if it were plucked from Wayne’s earlier album “Tha Carter V.” There is nothing special about it as far as Swizz’s work is concerned.

The next track “Come Again (feat. Giggs)” is a clear throwback to Swizz’s earlier work from the 2000s. His signature siren blares multiple times throughout the track as Swizz riffs about nothing for the song's entirety.

Things are pretty redundant from there until “Preach,” a track that features the ambient sound of breathing as the majority of its beat. It features a hook that is played on a xylophone that resembles the old lyrical and melodic themes of early ‘90s hip-hop. This track has a number of references to old songs, such as the hook of “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh” which is taken directly from Busta Rhymes’s verse in the classic song “Scenario” by A Tribe Called Quest. It is considered to be one of the greatest hip-hop groups of all time.

A handful of other tracks stand out, such as “Echo,” which is a refreshing look at how Swizz sees the world around him. It is set to a subdued beat and highlighted by a sweet, little rhythm guitar hook.

For the most part, “POISON” is reminiscent of Swizz Beatz’s only other album, and it doesn’t seem to be a good enough product to warrant a second solo album. It serves as an excuse to add a number of high-profile features to headline the tracks, such as Pusha T, Young Thug, Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz. “POISON” features many of today’s prominent rappers, but it only showcases Swizz firing the same old clip from 10 years ago.