We begin our journey into the mind of OG Cuicide via OGs Are Forever with a steady heartbeat and distant sounds of scattered white noise in “December 31, 1991.” A sudden gunshot is followed by what could only be a medical team trying to revive their patient, this serving as a segue into the sterling melody that opens up “On My Grind,” which will feature Indee B on a harmony as heavenly as it is surreally melancholic. It isn’t until we’re in the arms of “Neva” and lead single “Keep it G (feat. AD)” that the swagger OG Cuicide is known for takes the helm of the ship, and while things get even more colorful with Major James in “I Believe” and the combo of Epademik, Big2DaBoy and JMinnix in “Shut Shit Down,” nothing in this first act feels rushed at all.
Chevy Jones steps up to the plate to take a couple swings as OG Cuicide pitches solid beats in “Rebellion” before we find ourselves in the churning throwback tune “Triple Death (feat. Kali Red),” one of my favorite songs on the record. The groove is a chest-beater, and while the acoustic guitar-born harmonies of the Freddie Bubbs-adorned “Get Paid” contrast with this vibe significantly, I wouldn’t have changed their order in the tracklist at all – it’s too integral to the swell of tension that comes to a head in “Know My Pain” with Danny Atoms and, to a lesser degree, “Money UP (feat. Lil’ Flip).” OGs Are Forever feels like this artist’s version of Pink Floyd’s The Wall, only less indulgent stylistically.
Apryl Paige’s sultry vocal adds to “Sometimes” quite a bit, and essentially makes it a radio-ready track regardless of the audience it’s being marketed towards. It’s a similar story with Smokey Lane and “My Own Lane,” and as much as I dig “Know My Pain,” Danny Atoms doesn’t really light it up until he gets into the booth with Paul Wall and OG Cuicide for “The Hustle Don’t Stop,” the unabashed focal point of OGs Are Forever’s second half. Sandwiched between this song and Jackie’s Boys “Everything” is another powerful performance from Apryl Paige in “Tragedy,” but following a brief interlude in “Uncle Tone Voice Mail,” Tracy Lane returns for the game-changer in “Thank You” that rivals every ballad on the disc. The material is unpredictable, but better yet, the fluidness of the music is unstoppable.
If you ever wondered what it would sound like to get Kurupt, Caviar, Kokane and OG Cuicide in on the same project, “Homage” is here to give you some generous grooves that prove the combination to be a truly irresistible cocktail. The song fades into the silence in a way that immediately brings to mind a G-funk era long gone from the L.A. streets of 2020, and with its conclusion we cross the finish line in OGs Are Forever only to be left with a lot more questions about its lead player than we initially started out with. He’s a veteran talent, but I don’t think anyone can listen to this album and think he’s anywhere near retirement. OG Cuicide is in this for the long-haul, and this 2019 tour de force is evidence of as much.