Understand This

Following the release of 1995's 2000, Grand Puba seemed to fade into hip-hop history. Now, the New Rochelle, N.Y., native returns with his third album (and first for Rising Son/Koch).

Following the release of 1995's 2000, Grand Puba seemed to fade into hip-hop history. Now, the New Rochelle, N.Y., native returns with his third album (and first for Rising Son/Koch). Despite the six-year hiatus, not much has changed: Puba is still a credible lyricist with an uncanny ability to turn a witty verse. On "Issues," the rapper waxes poetic about life's everyday idiosyncrasies. Puba, who got his start with Brand Nubian (Lord Jamar and Sadat X make special appearances), takes the music industry to task on "Don't Lie to Me." The track may explain why he started his Rising Son imprint. Ultimately, and due to the fact that Puba handles the bulk of production duties, the album seems at times redundant.—RH