Headz Or Tailz
Do Or Die (Rap-A-Lot/Virgin Records)
For those of us who did ourselves a favor and got hip to Do Or Die on their debut album--Picture This--we already know what these 3 cats from the Chi are capable of. With songs such as "Po Pimp", "Money Flow" and "Playa Like Me & You", it's no wonder that Picture This attained Gold status with relative ease. Now, Belo Zero, Nard and AK-47 sprinkle us with Headz Or Tailz and ask us, 'do you wanna ride'?
Headz Or Tailz begins with "Headz", a song full of bass that's guaranteed to shake the passengers in the car next to you and lyrics that will give them something to think about as well. The next track, "Just Ballin", then takes the listener on a whirlwind into a world of pimpology: riding in expensive Cadillacs and Lexuses, smoking the finest marijuana grown, sipping Dom P and lounging with only the finest quality females around. Next, "Pimpology" reminds you that "pimpin' ain't easy, but somebody's gotta do it"; assuring us that if Do Or Die weren't rap stars then they'd be full-time pimps: still getting paid, still driving the finest automobiles and sexing only the choice females.
Is Headz Or Tailz only about pimping? Well, not entirely; but for the most part, yes it is. But isn't that what's selling these days? One only needs to check the album sales to see that apparnently tales of lucid sex, expensive cars we the consumer could never afford in 2 lifetimes, bottomless glasses of expensive, quality champagne and high amounts of the finest weed is what we crave. However, pushing my bias aside, I will admit that tracks such as "Gangsta Shit", "Ultimate Shutdown", "Under Surveillance" and "Dead Or Alive" is refreshingly far from the pimpified songs Do Or Die is famous for. "Gangsta Shit" and "Dead Or Alive" are downright "hard" compared to some of the other tracks on Headz Or Tailz.
I would be remiss if I didn't discuss "Still Po Pimpin" and "Bustin Back", the two tracks that caught my attention the most on Headz Or Tailz. "Still Po Pimpin" is a follow-up to "Po Pimp", the single that made Do Or Die a highly talked about name in the industry. "Still Po Pimpin" takes a cue from its predecessor and follows the same mold as Twista and Johnny P join Do Or Die in making a song that's sure to be heard coming from block parties and barbecues well into Fall 1998. "Bustin Back" is Do Or Die's chance to get back at Bone Thugs~n~Harmony for dissing them on Art Of War. However, as Bone chose to dis Do Or Die using hints and cues from songs, Do Or Die comes right out naming names and streets and letting the 5 thugs from Cleveland that if they cross Do Or Die, there will be hell to pay. "Bustin Back" features Lil Chilla of the Snypaz to help dis Bone, much like Bone enlisted rapper Maje$ty to help dis Crucial Conflict and other Chicago artists on "Ready 4 War." Hopefully, this ridiculous beef that has embroiled will calm down and Bone and Do Or Die and the rest of the artists that enlist that rapid fire rapping style can join forces and live happily once again.
Headz Or Tailz is a good album--notice the usage of the word "good" and not "great". The major lament I hear about Bone Thugs~n~Harmony, Twista and other artists that use the rapid pace delivery is that they lose their "hardness" and become more R & B. There is a notable R & B feel on Headz Or Tailz and soon Do Or Die will be labelled as "soft" too. I feel as if Do Or Die, although famous for their pimpology, need to concentrate less on that subject and instead embrace other topics to tackle. The Source did an article on Do Or Die and in the article, Do Or Die came across as intelligent, complex minded individuals and I'm saddened that they don't incorporate that more in their music. By contrast, Too Short, although a pimp in his own right, encapsulated and discussed many more topics and ideas in his music to subvert all the pimp talk. Headz Or Tailz won't come close to getting "5 mics" and Do Or Die won't ever have a chance at that much yearned for status as long as they continually lack a broader base of subject matter to discuss on their albums.