Wednesday, 2 December 2015

B.G. "Checkmate" (2000)

Following up on my favorite southern record "Chopper City In The Ghetto" is B.G's last release with Cash Money Records before his departure later in the year over money disputes. Its his sixth release in five years, rather remarkable when you consider he was still a teenager when recording this one. Once again he teams up Mannie Fresh for a production sound similar to the Big Tymers "I Got That Work" album released in the same year.

Much like the sparkling bling fueled cover art, the beats are crisp and glossy as the fidelity steps up a touch. With a finer selection of programmed instruments, the compositions have a greater clarity as layers of snappy, sharp, clean instruments jive together in a mix where you can clearly hear each and every instrument and how they contribute to the song. The drums inflect a southern accent with hi hats and various percussive instruments taking president over the kick snare groove. Around it plenty of noisier subtle electronic sounds and instruments move in the backdrop while the brighter instruments, pianos, guitars, horns and synths, make up the short and simple melodies that loop through these songs. It all adds up to a fair collection of beats that falls short of being remarkable or special, but far from being anything negative.

So when B.G. steps to the mic its his opportunity to elevate the record but his laid back, easy flow doesn't quite chime like it did before. These beats require some hype and energy and the disparity can be heard on tracks like "I Know" where the thumping orchestral hits don't match his tone or energy. A lot of the guest features do better for these beats and for all the verses and choruses Ive listened through there wasn't a memorable line to be had, unlike Chopper City with its many lines and hooks I can't get out my head. Although I enjoyed this record, there is little to talk about or take away, and I'm left feeling this one suffers from the factory approach to keep pumping out records regardless of inspiration.

Favorite Songs: U Know How We Do, This N Die, Get In Line, Run With My Chopper, Problems, he Used 2 Be A Man
Rating: 4/10