Hi 93 / Lo 75
|Volume 70, Issue 5,
Friday, August 27, 2004
Life & Arts
Young Buck perfect for local rap radio
By Zach Lee
Like any self-respecting Southern rapper, Young Buck, a Nashville, Tenn., native, had to have some Lil Jon production and a verse by Ludacris before he put out his solo debut Straight Outta Ca$hville. To represent that Southside a little more, he also extended invitations to David Banner and Houston's own Lil' Flip. If guest appearances mean anything, Buck sure is from the ol' "dirty dirty," even though his pictures in the liner notes are airbrushed to a cleanliness that would make Hef and Playboy proud.
That polish extends to the music's smooth production, highlighted by two great beats from Needlz: the album's first single, "Let Me In," and "Bang Bang," a track that successfully samples Nancy Sinatra's "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)." Lil Jon's contribution is slightly more subdued than his most popular beats, as "Shorty Wanna Ride" is just a mediocre addition to the album's repertoire. "Taking Hits" is laid over a beat by DJ Paul and Juicy J that should get some substantial club rotation.
Lyrically, the album actually has a couple of lines that don't fit into the Southern neo-gangsta rap stereotypes, including a cut from "Do It Like Me," an impressive track most likely to hit radio stations next, when Buck says simply "Feel my pain, but don't feel sorry for me / ‘cuz there's some kids in Somalia with nothing to eat." That's probably the closest thing to a political statement you can expect from consumer hip-hop. The rest of the album is lyrically similar to almost every rap album that has come out on major labels in the past year, but fans shouldn't expect original lyrics at this point.
The lyrics can be overlooked, but the biggest shortcoming of the album is the recurring presence of 50 Cent. As the executive producer, 50 should have his hand in much of the music, but four appearances in 14 tracks seems just a tad excessive, although the album is impressively devoid of an Eminem cameo.
Straight Outta Ca$hville
Verdict: Take it or leave it, but it's an
album custom-made for Houston's radio stations
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