Album Review: Jadakiss Declares He is 'Top 5 Dead or Alive'

Empty Lighthouse is a reader-supported site. This article may contain affiliate links to Amazon and other sites. We earn a commission on purchases made through these links.

In the 90's Jadakiss along with the rest of Ruff Ryders led a charge that in hip-hop that was raw and utterly refreshing for fans.

On Top 5 Dead or Alive, Jadakiss makes a huge splash and makes a pretty big case for being among the best of the best.

Everyone in hip-hop wants to mentioned alongside the top two artists The Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac. When a lot of the younger rappers seem to be gunning for those positions there are still O.G.'s like Jadakiss who is there to remind them not to sleep on him.

On Top 5 Dead Or Alive, Jadakiss first tunes the ears of fans with the "First 48 intro" making sure they know what they are in for with the rest of the album. Following the intro is a skit titled, "Shop talk" where a barbershop crew discusses what makes for a top five emcee.

It sparks a debate where they talk about the clothes that some new rappers are wearing and their overall demeanor not being worthy of top five status.

(Album Stream Below)

Top 5 Dead or Alive then breaks into a track titled, "You Don't Eat" featuring the special commentary from Diddy. There is talk about being hungry and Jadakiss finds himself going over the importance of street smarts and the hard work that goes into being the best of the best. On "You Can See" Jadakiss gets an assist from Future and a trunk rattling beat.

It's the pure untouched talent that made Jadakiss one of the most respected names in hip-hop and it's all over "You Can See". Future does what he does best in delivering a catchy hook to bring the track full circle.

"Y.O. (Youthful Offenders)" is a smooth track featuring a chorus from Akon. It's all about being in the streets and hustling, the real hustling as opposed to what a lot of hip-hop rappers never really lived but talk about.

Jadakiss seems to be separating the real bar for bar lyricist from the new wave artists.

We heard the "Jason" track featuring Swizz Beatz prior to the release of the album and realized from the overall sound that Jadakiss would be gunning for a place on the Top 5 Dead or Alive list.

"Kill" follows the subject matter of most of the tracks on the album. It also features a classic verse from Lil Wayne who seems prime and ready to get back to his original form.

Meanwhile on "Man in the Mirror" Jadakiss reminisces on all of the times people tried to bring him down but he rose above it all and is ready to face the "Man in the Mirror." A Jadakiss album would not be complete without a classic back and forth tag team effort featuring Styles P.

That is exactly what fans get on "Synergy." The Ghost and Kiss combo really does get better with time and they continue to prove that with every collaborative effort.

Aside from the fact that Ne-Yo and Nipsey Hussle are featured on "Aint Nothin New," the fact that Jadakiss points out that he could vocally destroy any production is a shot at rappers who tend to let the production and beats overshadow their own lyrical talent.

It's a fact that hasn't been addressed by many rappers but is always a topic of discussion when really trying to decipher whether or not an artist has true lyrical skill, or is just riding a fresh beat.

TONIGHT baby! #JadakissLive with @RevoltTV and @DefJamRecords at MIDNIGHT! #t5doa

A video posted by Therealkiss (@therealkiss) on

Jadakiss does continue to welcome certain new acts such as Wiz Khalifa, who is featured on "So High." However, "Critical" featuring Young Jeezy is another big standout track on Top 5 Dead or Alive. It's fast pace beat and hardcore lyrics about trapping will give you a firsthand look at how the street life works.

"Realest In The Game" featuring Young Buck and Sheek Louch, "Rain" featuring Nas and "One More Mile To Go" featuring Chayse perfectly round out another classic album from Jadakiss.

Top 5 Dead or Alive contains evident signs of hard work from a rapper who is highly respected in the hip-hop/rap genre. You can check out the album below.

Listen to Top 5 Dead or Alive below.