A much-loved rhyme veteran, Grand Puba first came up in the ‘80s, gaining local fame with Masters of Ceremony before linking up with Brand Nubian. Known for his intelligent lyricism and party rocking flow, he is able to drop thought-provoking socio-political joints without sounding preachy, and straight-up good times rap without coming off corny. Despite the title, his fourth solo album is neither a wistful throwback nor the ranting of a bitter, aging pioneer. Instead, Puba does what he's always done, giving listeners a wide-range of subject matter set to solid production that takes its cues from his golden era heyday. Classic romantic rap comes in the form of the seductive but down-to-earth "Hunny," while "Same Old Drama" reflects on a wide array of everyday troubles. "The Joint Right Here" is a great club banger, and shades of R&B are exhibited on "Go Hard" and "Reality Check." Fellow legends Large Pro, Q-Tip, and Lord Finesse all lend a hand, to impressive results. Retroactive is a quality release; after many years away from the studio, it's good to have Puba back.

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