Bushwick Bill – No Surrender … No Retreat
1. Intro - 1:55 2. 5 Element Combat - 5:36 3. 2 Hard 2 Test - 4:06 4. In My Hood - 4:38 5. My Bitch - 5:00 6. All D. Freeman - 1:12 7. Hood Rat - 5:10 8. P-Funk - 4:01 9. Don't Be Afraid - 3:19 10. Tragedy - 3:15 11. Let da Rain Come Down - 3:25 12. Who's the Mack? - 4:37 13. Kaos Cidity - 3:38 14. Gangsta Funk - 2:27 15. Sa Fools - 3:37 16. 3 Hard Headz - 2:53 17. Let's Give Love Another Try - 2:03 18. Stand by Me - 4:49 19. Outro - 1:58
1. AllMusic - Dave Connolly
No Surrender...No Retreat kicks off with the kind of incendiary gangsta rap that you'd expect from Bushwick Bill (aka Dr. Wolfgang or the Game Warden). Using improbably tight beats with backing tracks that sound like a video game gone mad, Bill and his posse hit the beach ready for battle: "5 Element Combat," "2 Hard 2 Test," and "In My Hood." However, that's about as far as the revolution gets (except for "Tragedy" and "3 Hard Headz"). No Surrender... retreats from its political posturing with "My Bitch," a song so graphic it makes Salt-N-Pepa's "Shoop" sound like Mary Wells' "My Guy." (Female rapper Kaos also takes the lead on "Kaos Cidity," sounding every bit bad enough to eat Eve for breakfast, although you sure wouldn't want her to rap about it.) Most of the 19 tracks on this disc hearken back to the classic soul/funk music of the '70s, a sweet setting for Bill's often-gruff vocals (read "totally wasted"). However, Bill takes a back seat much of the time, employing a slew of guest rappers (Nate G., Kyhil, Ken Crossley) to do what they do better. On this effort, Bill seems happy in the role of the wise commentator, exhorting listeners to mind their dollars and sense. Although it's questionable whether anyone is buying Bushwick Bill's discs looking for catchy soul/rap songs, No Surrender gives 'em a few: "Hood Rat," "Gangsta Funk," "Don't Be Afraid." It's the mix of militant rap and soulful slices of life in the 'hood that makes the disc appealing. The misogyny, the foul mouth, the revolving-door rappers, and the lame R&B love songs (what are "P. Funk" and "Let's Give Love Another Try" even doing on the same disc?) are baggage, but producer Tim Hill keeps the disc afloat with tasteful accompaniment. This is far from a revolutionary manifesto, but with a lot of tracks and a little of everything, No Surrender...No Retreat is no rip-off.