On the weekend in which the Hip Hop world celebrated the late Notorious B.I.G’s birthday, it was only fitting that one of the few emcees to ever make a song with Frank White would drop something new for the masses. Jadakiss, the man cited as being “Top Five Dead Or Alive,” has remained the people’s favourite due to his early features on Biggie and The L.O.X’s material as well as his steady growth into one of the fiercest with the bars, as proven on various albums and lyrical sparrings. In a move which shows his overwhelming gratitude to his supporters, Kiss’ new mixtape is an offering aimed solely at those who have had his back from day one, the only question now left is whether his love letter endears to his faithful.

A tribute mixtape which sticks to its theme for the most part, Jadakiss speaks directly to friends, family and the streets with this 11 track project. Whilst an all-out emotional outburst doesn’t occur lyrically, productions on offer are softer and cater to Kiss’ ode to his dearest on I Love You (Dedication To The Fans).

‘Hold You Down’ is a smooth mix of R&B vibes with Jada’s rugged dedication to his ride-or-die chick, whereas ‘2 The Streets’ explores the trials and tragic consequences, backed by a classic Alexander O’Neal sample. Kiss’ flow is still nasty as ever, and when its out in full, unpolished form, it conjures up a reminder of why J-A-Double stands as one of the nicest in NY.

The Neptunes-produced, Pharrell-featured ‘Lil Brah’ probably stands as the cut above the rest, as Jadakiss plays big brother, schooling his listeners on getting back up after several knockdowns whilst its horn laced, choir clapping production adds a sovereignty to his message.

Of course the harder material could never be omitted from any Jadakiss offering,; ‘Rock Wit Me’ is a passable heavy hit for the clubs and the big homie Styles P helps him throw down more gutter D-Block material on ‘Lay Em Down’.

Jadakiss’ Dedication To The Fans is an honourable all-round effort which will cater to the majority of the D-Block affiliate’s long running following. For its rather short running time, J-A-D-A gives us a slice of everything which defines the man as a definite applicant for one of the Top Five Dead or Alive.

Kiss’ confidence, skilled-but-simple rhyming style and humour are all in abundance on I Love You and when teaming with one of New York’s future stars in Fred The Godson, Jada still shows that he still remains one of Yonkers’ premier acts, even after so many years. With the various regions of America currently ruling rap, Jadakiss’ latest project will promptly remind listeners of that trademark East Coast sound which has been missing for some time.

Jadakiss – I Love You (A Dedication To My Fans)
Released: May 23, 2011
Label: Def Jam
Buy: iTunes US / Amazon US / Amazon UK