They don‘t come much harder than Big Noyd. Even as his Mobb Deep boys Prodigy and Havoc have bent hip-hop‘s status quo to their grimy thug-isms over the past decade, Noyd has remained independent and under the radar, too raw for radio. While he might not do Mobb numbers, Noyd has a better album in On The Grind than their recent cookie-cutter disaster, Amerikaz Nightmare. Free of wack A&R direction, Grind‘s beats (courtesy of Havoc and Ric Rude, with one from Alchemist) often evoke the grittiness of The Infamous, while Noyd keeps things rugged with his 2Pac-ish flow. Some more vivid storytelling and more consistent production on the album‘s second half would have been nice, but this Grind is solid nonetheless.