N.O.T.S. ‎– True Blue II: You Only Live Once

Label:
Ain't Jokin Records ‎– 7675-2
Format:
CD, Album
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Notes

Tracklist is based on the one shown on back insert .Track 8 is written as "Sleep N Wit Da Enemy" on the back insert, on the disc it is written as "Sleepin Wit Da Enemy". Track 9 is written as "Aint No Trippen Weak Game" on the back insert, on the disc it is written as "Ain't No Trippen Weak Game".
N.O.T.S is written as "N.O.T.S" on the cover and disc artwork.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Printed): 7 30118-7675-2 5
  • Barcode: 730118767525
  • Matrix / Runout: RAINBO: Y.O.L.O. / TRU BLUE II 366-123-950A 01/06/94A

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O.R.

O.R.

October 5, 2010

Released in 1994, the 2nd True Blue album is the rarest of the True Blue trilogy. I can understand why it's relatively wanted: hardcore, streetwise lyrics along dope 1990s West Coast style production make this album a tempting package. The only problem is that the quantity of You Only Live Once CDs (as well as cassettes) manufactured is rather small, I guess.

The production on this album varies from G-funk to more traditional sample-based tracks. My favorite track, which is also an excellent example of mid-1990s L.A. sound, is Another Front & Bacc: the whiny synthesizer in the chorus is simply one of the most memorable G-funk tunes ever made. Whiny synthesizer is featured in On A Come Up and Sleep N Wit Da Enemy too, but the rest of the album's production is rather similar to late 1980s/early 1990s sampled and looped rap tracks released before Dr. Dre's The Chronic.

Like I said earlier in this text, the lyrics are hardcore. The whole album is gangsta rap in its purest form, and the topics range from smoking weed to dissing rappers who contributed Dangerous Records' Bangin' On Wax albums. To my knowledge, the whole thing got started on the 1st True Blue where Lil' Keke Loco (the only person who is featured on all TBs) dissed some Blood hoods - rappers who were members of these hoods (or were offended by True Blue's rappers' Crip membership and their disrespect aimed at Bloods in general) dissed N.O.T.S.'s members on Bangin' On Wax.

Rappers featured on this album are talented, and the best rhymes are kicked by Lil' Keke Loco, Lil' Squee Bastard (appears on TBs 1 & 2) and Evil Wacc II (raps on this album only). Even though production and rhymes stay tight throughout the album, long track durations make the listening experience a bit exhausting if you choose to listen the whole album through in one session.

It's a shame that genuine physical copies of this album are so rare: I've seen how a factory sealed TB II was sold for over $200 in eBay a few years ago, and I've also seen used TB IIs being sold for $125 in Amazon. True Blue II: You Only Live Once isn't the best underground rap album I've ever heard, but it's still a classic. If you like TB II and see it somewhere on sale for under $100, buy it - you only live once.