Shames Worthy – The Album

Independent (January 11, 2011)
Review by AJ Jones

For those of you who don’t know, Shames Worthy – the artist formerly known as Raphi – is a West Coast connoisseur and longtime member of the Tunnel Rats collective. His sophomore effort The Album comes on the heels of his 2002 solo debut Cali Quake – no, that’s not a misprint. Spare a few guest appearances and, yes; it has been nearly a decade since we last heard from Shames Worthy.

For the The Album, Shames brings along Chicago-based producer D-Ski the illEagle to provide the majority of production, shining right off the bat on the self-titled “Shames Worthy” – a sort of run-of-the-mill/who-am-I/what’s-my-name bravado. “The Anthem” provides the lead single off the record and an ode to the city of Los Angeles – never complete without a Roscoe’s and/or In-N-Out reference.

“Rude Awakening” – is a thematic, Abstract Rude-assisted dedication to L.A.’s infamous Good Life Cafe. One of the brighter moments on the LP, the two emcees go flow-for-flow, in an abstract way, while successfully veering off the road from typical song-structures. “Life Is Like a Sport” marks another notable, this one chalk-full of L.A. Laker references. Although the defending champions road to another 3-peat would stop in Dallas, take nothing away from the many similarities found between the unscripted drama of life and sports.

Ultimately, The Album is a hit (see “Fly”) and miss (see “I Love the Energy”) effort from Mr. Worthy. An accomplished emcee and owner of copious amounts of flows (see “Here We Go Again”), this sophomore effort comes in with rather high expectations that fall just a bit short on the totem pole. Still, The Album is a noted effort, from an extremely versatile emcee; managing to standout out among a myriad of today’s rappers.

For fans of: LPG, Tunnel Rats, West Coast underground hip-hop


  1. I’m afraid I have to disagree a bit with the reviewer, this album by no means fell short of my expectations. I just got it and love it more and more as I hear it. When Shames was Raphi and in the TR’z he wasn’t even my favorite emcee in the group but this album bangs!

  2. I appreciate the love y’all.
    And BigSaved I’m glad you disagree lol.
    Oh and my real name is still Raphi & I’m still in the TR’z but I know what you meant.

  3. This has been one of the top albums of the year for me: a complete banger from start to finish. Shames has original rhymes for days and the production was top notch. In addition I felt the whole LA theme really unified the album. I have to disagree with the “hit and miss” label the album was given by the reviewer. What about “Still Around” (w/Jurny Big!?)? “The Blessings”? “Ride On”? Still bumping this one and I bought it over six months ago.

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