Listening to Ruste Juxx‘s [click to read] Indestructible is something like reading a novel. And it should be -he could have written one in the decade it took him to release his debut since he appeared on Heltah Skeltah‘s [click to read] Magnum Force. Executive produced by Sean Price, Indestructible touches on every aspect of the often-glorified, so-called “gangsta lifestyle.” Each track is like a chapter dedicated to a particular subject: “Machine Gun Skunk” is the smoker’s anthem, “Let Me In” is the track celebrating getting paid and partying accordingly, and “Pimpin’ Ya Wife” is the track that’s…well, just let the title do the talking.

Seeing as how this album could serve as a how-to guide on being hardbody, it’s only appropriate that the lyrics be filled with guns, ganja smoke, money, cars, and bitches. Ruste Juxx never lets you forget that, either, with lines like the chorus of “Homicide Niggas” stating, “I’m a hell raisin’, gun totin’, knife pokin’, liquor drinkin’, weed smokin’, money gettin’, homicide nigga for life.” Laying the verse down over a piano riff and some heavy-hitting bass gives the perfect example of that grimy New York style that runs rampant throughout the project. If you want jubilant-sounding, upbeat music, you would be well-advised to look elsewhere.

The album begins and ends solidly with the Black Milk-produced [click to read] “Wipe Off Ya Smile,” and Blastah Beatz-produced “Optimistic,” respectively. “Wipe Off Ya Smile” boasts a gutter sound and a guest spot from his sister who passed away, Blaze. She holds nothing back, making herself seem as menacing as her brother, and lyrically establishes herself as a force to be reckoned with. “Optimistic,” on the other hand, takes the laid-back approach to ending the album with horns mellowing out the beat and Juxx‘s flow. The track’s positive vibe gives a satisfying balance to the rest of the album’s subject matter.

Despite the strong entrance and exit, however, Indestructible isn’t without its weak points. “Pimpin Ya Wife,” although equipped with a well-crafted beat produced by M-Nasty, comes off as corny and isn’t helped by the poorly-executed hook reminiscent of 50 Cent‘s “singing”. “System On Blast,” an ode to cars with serious sound systems in the trunk, may be a positive note if you’re actually playing the track in your car on a high-quality system. Play it on your earphones or laptop a few times though, and it loses its bass appeal as quickly as a car stereo gets stolen if you accidentally leave the doors unlocked.

Juxx makes up for weak points with tracks like “Get Up”, which keeps it in the family with a guest spot from his son, Lil Vic. A Jimmy Castor Bunch sample on the P.F. Cuttin-produced beat takes you back to the days of The Freshest Kids while the energetic track forces the listener to make it live up to its name.

With ample shout outs to Crown Heights, an obvious love for his family, and a variety of subjects touched upon by his lyrics, Indestructible has a little something for everybody. Its main downside is that it’s probably not solid enough to maintain its longevity for nearly as long as the ten years that Juxx fans spent waiting for his debut.