Silkk The Shocker|
Charge It 2 Da Game (No Limit Records)
By: David Patsko
As any fan of hip hop knows, you have to go pretty far to beat the amount of albums No Limit Records puts out per year; and you have to go even farther to beat the success said albums achieve. So it will be of no surprise to see Charge It 2 Da Game shipped Gold; and furthermore it would be of no surprise to see it go Platinum or multi-Platinum in album sales. Upon what do I base such bold statements? First, it's a No Limit Records release, so Gold is easily obtainable on reputation alone. Secondly, I feel as if Silkk's first CD, The Shocker, was surprisingly slept on. And third, whenever any No Limit artist gets his/her claws into the newest concoctions of beatmasters KLC, O'Dell, Craig B and Mo B. Dick--collectively known as Beats By The Pound--the result is usually a CD full of music from the bayou that's more satisfying than a big bowl of gumbo. By throwing No Limit Records most talented artist into the mix, one expects to come away satisfied. Luckily, Silkk aims to please.
As with any other No Limit release, you can easily gauge how the rest of the album is going to sound by the first track. Needless to say, the adrenaline gets pumping early into the first track, "I'm A Soldier." Silkk is joined by his brothers Master P and C-Murder, and artists Fiend, Mia X, Lil Gotti Gambino, Skull Dugrey, Mac, Big Ed and Mystikal. Accompanied by a heavy bassline, prevalent gunshots and explosions and the omnipresent trademark "uuuugggghhhhh" by Master P, "I'm A Soldier" warns playa hataz and perpetrators that "they don't wanna go to war with a tank." Then Silkk stealthily slinks into the laidback "Give Me The World", a mob based tale about Silkk's life and all the trials and tribulations he faces on a daily basis. Next, Silkk and Snoop Doggy Dogg team up for "Throw Yo Hood Up." A gangstafied anthem of spreading thug love and extolling the pleasures and sins of the lifestyle of a playa: easy women, large amounts of money, exotic luxury cars and estate-sized houses, "Throw Yo Hood Up" sees Snoop Doggy Dogg showing why although he may have fallen off a bit in the game, that the Snoop of old we all love and miss still lurks and makes a rare appearance.
In my opinion, the best song on Charge It 2 Da Game is "If I Don't Gotta." The theme is simple enough: weighing the merit of living a luxurious lifestyle, attained through drug dealing, against the seemingly more blissful and simplistic lifestyle of making legal money. Joined by No Limit labelmate Fiend, Silkk delivers two powerful verses about being rich and having women and how different it would be if he would have never been born. Fiend also delivers a verse full of questioning whether his life is worth living anymore and the chorus is heartfelt and controversial at the same time. When you hear Fiend rap "I don't wanna be here if I don't gotta, my weed habit is so close to snortin' powder, got a few bitches but it's all about a dollar, and don't holla unless you're moving narcotics", it is evident that he is speaking from experience with regret and dissatisfaction being the overtone.
Charge It 2 Da Game is not without its substandard points, though. On "Thug 'N' Me", Master P does his best to be the reincarnation of 2Pac Shakur, while Mo B. Dick sings and Silkk raps about how living as a thug is bad for long-term relationships with women. On "It Ain't My Fault", Craig B disappoints with a sub-par beat, while Mystikal and Silkk claim that it's not their fault that No Limit is the envy of all record labels. Finally, on "Let Me Hit It", a tale about taking advantage of easy women for their own benefit, Silkk and Mystikal tell tales about their promiscuity and how easy it is to get women to sleep with the other once they're done. Throw in "Ummm", a humorous but unneeded skit, and Charge It 2 Da Game shows that sometimes talking about high-risk sex with a myriad of women does get boring after awhile.
In reviewing Charge It 2 Da Game, I made sure to listen to each song repeatedly and try to get the main themes and ideas contained within, while paying close attention to the production and how the lyrics are presented. And although it does sound a lot like all the other No Limit Records releases, it maintains its own identity with Silkk's raw, real lyrics and tight beats by Beats By The Pound. It is annoying, almost upsetting that Master P is trying to be 2Pac Shakur and hearing him go "uuuggghhh" on every other song does anger you, but this is a Silkk CD and Silkk demonstrates why he is No Limit Records best lyricist by his ability to get his point across in hundreds of ways--all using the same rugged and raw style we've come to expect and adore. In short, Charge It 2 Da Game is Silkk's metamorphosis from rapper to serious lyricist that should be respected for his talent.
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