Thursday, 5 February 2015

Master P "Ghetto D" (1997)

Taking another dive into the Southern Hip Hop scene I picked up "Ghetto D" based on a recommendation from a friend. Hailed as a classic, it's Master P's sixth album, a rapper who's name I've heard often and is cited as the most successful from the South, maybe more so for his entrepreneurial business endeavors than his rapping. This is P's second best selling recording released on his own record label "No Limit Records" that stars a whole array of guest rappers who span all but one track on this lengthy record. 

My initial impressions were not so pleasing, the opening track's crack production tutorial set the tone for an unapologetic attitude that initially was hard get into. The souths boisterous, aggressive delivery style took some getting used to. Shouty, jittery delivers from some of the albums guests served as a style over substance that grew on me greatly. The use of subtle echos and reverbs add a lot to raps, especially when the focus is flow and texture, more so than the lyrical content. Through it all Master P is solid as an anchor, his low-toned, deep voice and competent flow delivers consistently, engaging us in socially conscious and drug-related topics with no shortage of boasting provado. His style is his own, but there are some big 2Pac influences at work on this record, ranging from the beats to rapping which includes quite a few reiterated lines and statements for Pac's songs, the track "Tryin 2 Do Something", a rework of "Bury Me A G", or the original "For the Love of You" by The Isley Brothers, depending how you look at it. And of course I have to mention the UGH. P's loud, forceful ugh shout which caught my attention with a touch of amusement, a primal expression that was so simple and catchy that by the end of the record had me saying UGH too. 

The beat production of this record is solid, timeless. The style is focused on drum machines and electronic instruments that create a crisp, solid and punchy sound from all instruments that play our some grooving arrangements. Theres room for the occasional sample, but in general its a progressive step away from the sample oriented sound of the early 90s. Warm simulated baselines, colorful keys and electronic leads decorate these tracks with energy. The hi-hats also caught my attention, with a recent introduction to Trap and its fast rhythmic notation I heard an early incarnation of appreciation for the hi-hats that had them inflecting rhythms instead of keeping count. The variety and quality in this record is substantial, the 19 tracks range all sorts of classic Hip Hop themes and vibes and through the 80 minutes it never tires. Although I prefer shorter records, this one just didn't let the foot of the gas, there was only one or two "stand out" tracks, but none that felt unworthy of my attention. Great record, I feel this one will help me step into the Southern scene as I seek out some more artists to listen to.

Favorite Tracks: Ghetto D, We Riders, Plan B, Weed & Money, Captin Kirk, Stop Hatin, Make Em Say UGH, Going Through Some Thangs, Come And Get Some
Rating: 7/10