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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING!!, October 8, 2005
This review is from: This Is My First Album (Audio CD)
This is probably the best hip hop CD to be released in 1996. It stays true to the roots of hip hop. Kwest's style and humor is reminiscent of Pharcyde's first album "Bizzare Ride II The Pharcyde". Which if you listen carefully, he's listening to that album in his car in one of the skits. I am very sad to see this was his only album. The beats on this album are top notch. It's great that in 1996, he was still keeping that sample-based true hip hop feel. Last I read, he was actually homeless, and had to do an interview from a payphone or something. If that's true, it's such a shame, because this is one of the most talented, original, and funny, emcees to ever be in the game.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars absolute classic, September 18, 2005
This review is from: This Is My First Album (Audio CD)
this is a very impressive cd, he hasnt done anything since, but kwest has a quick, slick flow and is very humorous, but he also speaks on some issues too. the beats on the album are all made by unknown producers, but they are some of the best i ever heard in hip hop. i wholeheartedly urge you to get this album, as in a few years there prolly wont be many copies left and its the kinda ish youll play to death.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kwest is the blueprint of a freestyle/battle MC., July 15, 2005
This review is from: This Is My First Album (Audio CD)
This album was an amazing surprise and I loved it.

I first heard of Kwest in an old issue of "The Source," where a small article wrote about a NY battle he took part in...later released on limited ed. vinyl, entitled "Biography of an ass-whuppin'." It was dubbed by the "The Source" as one of the dopest, most degrating (of the other guy) one-sided battles they've ever heard. That got me wonderin'.

Later I copped an old issue of "Rap Pages" w/ Kwest on the cover...the issue was called "Who the %$@* is Kwest tha Madd Ladd?" He had a 8 page article about him and his album (which dropped in '96). That was the last straw, so shortly afterwards I bought this album.

Let's say I had no idea what to expect. I read that Kwest was a wizard w/ his words and charismatic as hell...well, he's all that and...(insert favorite played-out metaphor here).

This album is pure fun. More than half the songs deal w/ the oppostie sex in many different scenarios: "Disnexone" is about trying to find the perfect ho in a sea of ugly fish, "101 Things..." is self-explanitory, "Daddiez Home" is about what happens when Pops catches you phuckin' his princess, "Butta-few-co" is about hookin' up w/ a 13 year old (sounds gross, but he flips it mad jokes style). So you get the idea.

The best track is his freestyle joint "Blase Blah," where you fully understand that this man was born to rhyme...he flips some of the craziest sh*t w/ a flow that knows no bounds.

The production is dope, but not so dope that it outshines Kwest's lyrical lickin'. Think of the production on Ras Kass' "Soul on Ice," dope enough to keep you noddin', but low-key enough to not out-shine Ras and just let him do his thing.

Most of all Kwest makes you laugh and smile...his talent shines on this's pure carefree fun, not a commercial crumb in it.

Bottom Line: I love this album. Kwest is very unique and has personality fallin' outta his pockets. 4 1/2 stars (only 'cause 5 would be a classic). COP IT! Peace.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Who would have thought "This..." would also be his LAST album?, December 31, 2007
ctrx ('bout to show you how the EAST COAST rocks...) - See all my reviews
This review is from: This Is My First Album (Audio CD)
Some albums are great not because everything about them is perfect, but because the overall vibe and feel of the record is. Kwest tha Madd Lad's "This Is My First Album" falls into this category. With one of the few rap albums released by Rick Rubin's American Recordings, the New Yorker debuted with an absolutely charming LP in 1996. Kwest is an immensely talented MC, but for all his talent he has even more charisma. Kwest can freestyle with the very best, and he's a wonderful storyteller, weaving intricate plots in and out of his experiences for the listener. On the mic, he sounds like a smoother, more laidback Redman with a thick New York accent. Immediately, he becomes so endearing to the listener, with his happy-go-lucky wit and everyman perspective. Kwest is obsessed with women, and many of his stories concern humorous female encounters and his own fortune with the ladies. But he's an excellent battle rapper as well, and on his freestyle tracks you get a taste of his true ability. When he tells stories about a day in his neighborhood, it's so likable because he sounds so average; he buys sneakers at V.I.M. and eats lunch at White Castle. Production on "This Is My First Album" is very simple, and the music takes a bare-bones, minimalist approach. The spotlight never leaves Kwest, so the beats basically exist as mere background music. There are only a couple of subpar tracks on the disc, and a lot of silly skits, some better than others. "This Is My First Album" might have been a real classic, but Kwest ran into label problems. He disputed over the tracklist with the label, and although recording began in '94, it wasn't released until well into '96. It sounds a year or two dated for '96, and that's exactly why. If it had a more timely release, I wonder if we might still hear Kwest's name today. In any event, "This Is My First Album" is a hilarious, entertaining ride that I highly recommend.

Following an intro of a woman's orgasm (tellingly titled "Everyone Always Said I Should Start My Album off With a Bang"), the disc opens with "101 Things to Do While I'm With Your Girl." Here, Kwest chronicles his meeting multiple women, and directs raps at their men, saying "Don't take it personal, but I'm tappin' your miss." He kicks clever lines such as "Last time you were in some a** the doctor screamed, 'I see the head'." I love "I Met My Baby at V.I.M." This track made me smile; as anyone in the New York area will tell you, V.I.M. is the spot for discount outlet clothes. This sense of regionalism might only appeal to a certain audience, but the charming storytelling and ironic soulfulness will appeal to all. Perhaps the most impressive song, however, is the live pure freestyle cut "Blase Blah (Off tha Head)." Kwest kicks one hilarious rhyme after another ("Want to hear something funny? I'm so skinny, I send my picture to Somalia and they send me money"). The smooth-as-silk "Lubrication" is another highlight, and the more upbeat but still smooth "What's the Reaction?" is similarly nice. "Daddiez Home" recounts instances where love sessions were ruined by angry fathers, and it's quite funny. He self-edits his own rhymes on "Skin Care." The only track I really didn't like was "Butta-few-co"; this one might have been better off left in his stack of shelved recordings, the subject matter's a little distasteful. The album's best moments follow. The sprawling, catchy "Disk and Dat" is great fun, and "125 Pennies for Your Thoughts" is a great story of a minor theft that leads to a huge debacle. My favorite song is the wonderful "Herman's Head." This song is perfect, and shows Kwest at his finest. Telling the story of a childhood friend who gets into drugs and eventually dies for it, Kwest yarns a tragic tale but maintains a goodnatured vibe. I love the way each verse ends, with a reference to the state (mental or physical) of "Herman's head." Even the beat is excellent. "Bludawnmeyesneekhuz" (that's "blood on my sneakers") is is great, as it's both thoughtful and humorous.

"This Is My First Album" was underpromoted and never reached more than a regional underground audience, but those who did hear it loved it. Although it goes for high prices today, I suggest a pickup if it comes your way, because Kwest is a first-class talent and this album just has a great feel. Just this year, a disc of Kwest's shelved tracks, These Are My Unreleased Recordings, surfaced, so here's hoping that this LP gets a proper re-release. Until then, keep your eyes open for this lost gem.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Example Of Industry Rule #4,080 (Rating: 8 out of 10- -4.0 stars), December 30, 2007
Chandler "Infamous" (Atlanta (College Park), Georgia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: This Is My First Album (Audio CD)
That title couldn't have been more accurate ("Industry rule #4,080, record companies are always shady"). Kwest Tha Madd Lad, is a person who I had no idea who he was until I came on amazon, recorded his album "This Is My First Album" which was supposed to come out in 1994, but American Records and Warner Brothers pushed it back to '96 (in fact I read in a past article that they screwed him over big time). And from what I understood, he recorded over 50 tracks and none of them that he wanted to be on this album ended up on here.

Luckly I was able to get my hand on this album, and I'm glad I did. I had to let this album grow on me, because of the rhymes from left field. Like one of the reviewers stated, Kwest rhymes about some funny stuff, especially about girls. "101 Things..." is a funny track in my opinion. My favorite is "I Met My Baby Mama At V.I.M." where he claims to meet a chick at what I'm assuming V.I.M. is a discount clothing store. "Lubrication" and "Daddy's Home" are other funny stories about him and females. The latter track is what happends when he is in a house with a girl and her parents come home (ever been caught in that situation, it's scary lol). When he doesn't rhyme about women, he can truly spit. "Blase Blah (Off Tha Head)" and "125 Pennies" are some of the tracks that shows off his true lyrical ability. "What's The Reaction" falls into that category as well. Even the skits are funny like "Day In The Life Of My A**pipe".

Missteps on this album are also floating around. Hearing "Butta-Few-Co" could make you stomach turn on what hes talking about (plus the hook on that song sucks). I hope that song falls under that disclaimer in the linear notes on the album. "Skin Care" is forgettable in my opinion (note to Kwest: Don't verbally edit your own words, they make the song sound sloppy). The production here is solid, but not too outstanding (think of Ras Kass' Soul on Ice or Canibus' Can-I-Bus).

Overall Kwest's first LP is great. Unfortunately this is one of those albums that received zero promotion behind it. I can't help but wondering what he's doing nowadays. This would have been his only album until about a couple of months ago These Are My Unreleased Recordings was released. This album is out of print too, and prices are high, but I wouldn't pay no more than 30 for this. But if you get it, you'll realize you have a gem on your hands. Peace.

Lyrics: A-
Production: B+
Guest Appearances: N/A
Musical Vibes: B+

Top 5 Tracks:
1. What's The Reaction
2. I Met My Baby Moms At V.I.M.
3. 125 Pennies For Your Thoughts
4. Daddy's Home
5. Blase Blah (Off Tha Head)

Honorable Mention:
1. 101 Things to Do While I'm With Your Girl
2. Lubrication

Update (1/30): I just read in a recent interview that he plans on releasing more and more unreleased tracks for his fans, but he doesn't plan on recording any more new material. So expect a lot more.
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This Is My First Album
This Is My First Album by Kwest Tha Madd Lad (Audio CD - 1996)
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