On paper, Cru’s Da Dirty 30 might be the most late-90s rap album ever. Twenty tracks? Try thirty. A whole bunch of needless skits? You bet. Multiple guest rappers? Obviously. Still, the album as a whole is a worthwhile listen, if only for the the production from Yogi, who manned the whole LP and went on to make some records for Diddy’s crew.
“Just Another Case,” the standout first single, remains the highpoint of the record. Rappers Chaddio and Mighty Ha go back and forth about about a tale of bad choices between Ed and L while referencing Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story” throughout the song and on the chorus; The Ruler himself even provides a guest verse. And while all that is well and good, it’s the guitar strings Yogi utilized (the same ones J. Cole and others would interpolate for themselves) that are most etched in people memories when revisiting the song these eighteen years later.