Ruff Ryders' 'Ryde or Die, Vol. II' Album Review - Rolling Stone
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Ruff Ryders’ ‘Ryde or Die, Vol. II’ Album Review

DMX’s dog pack returns

DMX during Woodstock '99 in Saugerties, New York in Saugerties, New York, United States. (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)

Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Ruff Ryders know what rap fans want. On its second group compilation, this platinum posse delivers hardcore hip-hop that’s as shiny as ice and as street as cement.

There are super-star tracks from Eve (who cooks like la diva loca over Carribean steel drums on “Got It All”) and DMX (who barks on “The Great”). The lesser-known Ryders should also get fans to lose their minds up in here: Over the Uzi-like thump of “Ryde or Die Boyz,” Yung Wun blasts gutter grime like a vet (key line: “I got heat to squeeze that’ll make your face melt like pizza cheese”); Larsiny delivers a convincing ghetto growl on the same song.

But studio Svengali Swizz Beatz is the real star here: On “Twisted Heat,” he gets Drag-On and Twista to set land-speed records over a freaky beat that bounces like Mannie Fresh on mushrooms. (Swizz even shows he can get nice on the mike on “Fright Night,” a duet with Busta Rhymes.) Featuring talent hailing from New York to Chicago to Texas, Ryde or Die Vol. II proves that Ruff Ryders aren’t just an East Coast phenomenon; they’re a state of mind.

In This Article: Busta Rhymes, DMX, Eve, Hip-Hop, Swizz Beatz

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