Basically this album gets the 4 stars strictly for lyrics. Lyrically this guy is off his mind, with ridicules metaphors and a tight flow that is extremely versatille. The stuff he raps about is sometimes so ridicules that you actually need to look up what he is talking about. Of course, everyone knows about Nature of the Threat, but thats not the only lyrically mind blowing song. Etc.. is nuts, he just goes bananas on that cut. The reason its not a strict classic is because of the production is relatively weak, and some of the songs don't seem like they belong on this album. Its basically a concept album of paranoia, distrust, and anger. Overall a very strong album though, I would higly recommend this if you like Nas Illmatic, Organized Konfusion, Gza of Wu Tang, Canibus, Chino XL, or AZ Doe or Die. I don't have his second album, I do have his unreleased Van Gogh, which although production wise is better, lyrically and conceptually he falls off, simply because he was looking to sell more units. I would pick that up if possible too. I also would recommend trying to find 4 Horsemen material, which includes Ras Kass, Kurupt, Killa Priest, and Canibus, lyrically that might be the greatest team ever to come together. This album is not a typical west coast album from the early 90s, where you come to think of snoop, or pac, or dre. Buy this album if you are into lyrical content, methaphors and flows, not for G-Funk, or "classic" cali production.