By Neil Drumming
December 19, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST

M.A.D.E.

B-

It’s been years since Jay-Z pegged Memphis Bleek as the successor to his Roc-A-Fella dynasty. You’d think Bleek’d be ready by now. But rather than exhibiting anything resembling his mentor’s lyrical finesse, the puerile playboy traffics in played-out Mafia cliches and oddly heterophobic philosophy like ”You hardly ever see me lovin’ a ho/I tell a bitch I’m in love with my dough.” Just Blaze, one of the CD’s many producers, buoys the set with noteworthy beats, but it’s not enough to mask the sound of an empire crumbling.

M.A.D.E.

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