Q (UK) - - Q Review New Albums -

Hip-hop pro­ducer cor­rals A-list names for ra­zor-sharp out­ing.

Over the years, Swizz Beatz’s pro­duc­tions have helped a mul­ti­tude of artists, from DMX to Nicki Mi­naj, colonise the US charts. His record as a solo artist is more che­quered: Beatz’s 2007 de­but pre­sented him as a con­fi­dent rap­per, not an as­tound­ing one. Poi­son is a marked im­prove­ment be­cause he largely plays to his un­de­ni­able strengths as a pro­ducer, adrenalised hype man and, in re­cruit­ing stars such as Ken­drick Lamar, Nas and Lil Wayne, ta­lent mag­net. Beatz brings the best out in peo­ple, too, es­pe­cially Pusha T who raps “bro­ken black homes is the mod­ern slav­ery” over the at­mo­spheric strains of Cold Blooded. It’s not a solo al­bum in the strictest sense, but it’s a thrilling one. GE­ORGE GAR­NER Lis­ten To: Cold Blooded | Echo | Some­thing Dirty/Pic Got Us

Swizz Beatz: “play­ing to his un­de­ni­able strengths.”

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