Since Jay-Z left to lead a roster of Southern rappers to stardom as the head of Island/Def Jam, nobody in New York has stepped up to take the rap throne. But with help from Stevie Wonder, Rick James and Nas, The Big Bang
makes a good case for Busta Rhymes. Produced by Dr. Dre, Bang
finds Busta spending much of his time interpreting G-Unit's new-New York creeping thump. On "Goldmine," he joins Raekwon for the first post-millennial crack classic to not come from Atlanta, while the ubiquitous "Touch It" and the poppy "I Love My Bitch" (with Kelis) keep things light.