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C.I.W.Y.W. (2004)
C.I.W.Y.W. - Click to view!A few months ago I honestly thought that at this time the hottest album on the block would be mars ILL's second Gotee Records release, Pro*Pain. I thought that all other albums would be held up in bleak comparison to the masterpiece that would have been. However, due to a conspiracy involving the Russian KGB, the Illuminati, and even the Concerned Librarians Against Hip-Hop Sampling, my hope-filled prophecy of calling the album a masterpiece will not be fulfilled until June. In the middle of my solemn despair I was blindsided by the release of the mystical, ultra rare, very delicious, C.I.W.Y.W. by LA Symphony. In what has to be the biggest legal loophole since the glove didn't fit, the Symph have managed to raise the once damned cd out of record label purgatory.

This was to be the CD that did it all — take the guys to that next tax bracket, provide them with some number one singles, and showcase how much talent they really do have. Promotion was top notch; SPIN, The Source and countless other rags all mentioned the crew and havoc they would be wreaking on the world of hip hop. Sadly, due to yet another conspiracy mounted by the aforementioned groups, minus the librarians this time, the CD was shelved. But that has all changed my, dear readers. For now, it is quite realistic that you could be holding this never before heard record in your grubby little fingers. In an act of sheer rebellion, a CD-R of the original masters has been made available to you and me and hopefully not to any lawyers. In this marvelous moment let's reflect on the gems that make this record so desirable.

Even if you are a closest LA Symphony fan, your ear drums will recognize the officially released single, "Broken Tape Decks." Featuring all of the crew, this was the jam back when it was first released. This song, hands down, is as fresh as it is thanks to the great hook provided by Sharlok Poems. "Champion Bird Watchers" is a fun swing\jazz throwback type jam. Full of the humor that made the Symph so popular on their debut, this track will cause you to giggle at least twice. It is impossible to listen to this song and not imagining all the guys in zoot suits strutting around spitting their rhymes. This song has mucho playback appeal.

"Very Expensive", "Easy Now" and "Action" are all top notch bangers, where once again great delivery, smooth rhymes and tight hooks are all woven together to make some great hip hop. Falling into the category of "Nice Surprise," fan favorite "San Diego" has been re-mastered and re-recorded with some lyrical changes. "Broken Now," produced by the legendary Prince Paul is a silky-smooth jam that causes me to yearn for summer. If your girlfriend has recently broken up with you then "Anything" could possible be your anthem for the next several dark, dreary, lonely depressing weeks and/or months ahead. "Anything" teams the Black Eyed Peas up with the Symphony to create one of the most satisfying collaborations in a long, long, time.

Ending with several tracks that lean more towards the aggressive side musically and deeper lyrically, C.I.W.Y.W. delivers a piece of LA Symphony history that we should have had a long time ago. However we will all be thankful that we are able to hear the Symphony before the bitterness and synth driven beats took over. I would move quickly; this is a very limited time offer, so close your browser and get on up out of your house! Wait…this is an internet only offer, so disregard that rant and head on over to lasymphony.com.
- Josh Weekly
February 2005
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