The Next Spot is a recurring series dedicated to the albums that could’ve, would’ve, should’ve made the Decade Top 50.
Forget the lackluster back end, My Ghetto Report Card is all about the high energy first half that brought 40 Water back to MTV and put the Bay back in the National spotlight for a minute. While Hyphy always worked better as an adjective than as an awkward name-tag for Bay Area Hip-Hop, 40 and producer Lil Jon somehow make the reductive “West Coast Crunk” description the genre got stuck with work.
“Tell Me When To Go” is the big hit, an incredibly sparse post-Grindin stomper that reworks RUN DMC’s “Dumb Girl” into a dancefloor call-to-arms. But the album’s real strength lies in Bay Area legend Rick Rock’s contribution: “Go Hard or Go home” is an anthemic stadium sized banger, while opening salvo “Yay Area” features a Digable Planet flip and lyrics so dope that even the East couldn’t ignore it.–Sach O