Cam'ron & Vado, 'Gunz N' Butta' (E One)

Gunz N' Butta
Critical Mass
Release Date: April 19, 2011
Label: E One

by Ben Detrick

Fans aching for reconciliation among members of the Diplomats were heartened by last summer's boisterous single "Salute" and several reunion concerts, but new albums from Cam'ron and Jim Jones reveal cleaved musical directions for the Harlem crew. On Gunz N' Butta, Cam'ron and protégé Vado (a rapper with Gatling-gun nuance) are roiling and abrasive, twisting down a wormhole of multisyllabic rhymes and Araabmuzik's skittering beats. Jones veers the other way with Capo, openly courting accessibility with hooks from Wyclef Jean and Ashanti, spacey Kid Cudi-esque crooning, and even mournful emoting("Deep Blue"). Perhaps Dipset's collective strength was located in moderation, not in extremes.

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