Lyricist: Cold 187um.
Editor: Brandon "Bowski" Calhoun.
For his fifth solo album, and first for the Insane Clown Posse's label Psychopathic, Above the Law member Cold 187um goes conceptual. The story here is that Cold was born to an assassin father, who uses his kid as some kind of human shield, but when the Black Swan -- Cold's uncle -- murders Dad, the young one grows up to be a revenge-minded "Psychopathic Assassin." There's a comic book available to flush out the story, along with narrator/ICP-member Violent J, who provides some of the characters' motivations and histories on the album itself, and while this concept goes big time in a Tarantino style with characters and locations providing an Iliad-sized journey, some of the tracks get too tripped up in narrative to be considered pure. The opening "Born 2 Kill" comes on strong, small, and dark -- the Dark Lotus production is a very un-Psychopathic study in restraint -- but becomes a clumsy list of characters as it goes on, while "Judgment Day" is a damnation of the corrupt system that damns all its fictional thieves by name, making it less metaphorical and universal than the usual Above the Law style. A "Psychopathic Presents" tag on the cover could have given old G-Funk fans a head up, but dig the story or the ICP family, and this a B-Movie worth of wicked and fun. ~ David Jeffries