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.