Thursday, 31 December 2015

Mac "Shell Shocked" (1998)


Coming from the No Limit music factory, Mac's "Shell Shocked" is another from the year of 98 when No Limit Records pumped out 23 record from 20 different artists. Going for quantity over quality it would be hard for many of the artists on the hyped label to stand out and Mac is one of those who didn't sell as well at the time but this record is respected as one of the labels best. It's also got the most sensible album cover Ive seen of the over shopped and sometimes tacky southern style.

Its a typical record fitting Master P's formula. 73 minutes of solid beats stretching the format, compact disc, limit. On first listen it felt like Mac was being smothered by other characteristics, being another voice in a large crowd of No Limit artists it was the presence of Master P that seemed over the top with a barrage of over enthusiastic UGHs and Tupac pronunciations, emulating his delivery style and using similar lyrics, best head on "Money Gets" or "Memories". Getting used to Mac's voice I heard solid and steady flow more reminiscent of the east coast sound than southern. His lyrics flowed tight from word to word and sounded best when double tracking or using reverb on particular tracks.

Beats by the pound provided another set of sturdy beats with the typical range of styles and themes expected of this era. "The Game" recycled a beat from Silk's "Aint My Fault", nice to hear, and "Be All You Can Be" uses the classic melody from George Michael's "Careless Whisper", might sound odd but it works. I always enjoy noticing these entities in Rap music, as well as recycling beats the "Tank Dogs" would be reused Silk's "Southside Niggas" along with components to its beat. The records title track has some weak gun sound effects at the end, including the shotgun sound from the classic game Doom! "My Brother" also uses a sample from the eJay music composers that were popular at the time.

These quirks were fun to notice but the most important point is the strength of the beats holding the record from start to end, there maybe a few tracks you'd want to skip if not in the mood but it has what a good record needs and although nothing special happened in the lyrical department it still made for a great listen, one that's continuing the itch for more of Master P's brand of Hip Hop.

Favorite Tracks: Murda Murda Kill Kill, Tank Dogs, Can I Ball, The Game, Memories, Beef, My Brother
Rating: 6/10

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