NAAM Brigade fashions its own brand of hardcore rap with its ArtistDirect debut, Early in the Game.

NAAM Brigade fashions its own brand of hardcore rap with its ArtistDirect debut, Early in the Game. The members of this Philadelphia-based quartet—Rambo, Eyse da SupaStar, Sonni Black, and Meek Millz—sound like wily veterans here. The title track, which features fellow Philadelphian Freeway and serves as the lead single, is an undeniable head-nodder that proves to be one of the album's brightest moments. NAAM proves it can also rock out on the Bernard "Big Demi" Parker-produced "We Live It," which arrives drenched in electric guitar riffs. Early in the Game does stall at times, though. Forgettable tracks like "Fo Sheezy" and "All the Money" are speed bumps in an otherwise high-octane, credible debut.—RH