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July 14, 2024

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Shell Shocked (No Limit Records)

By: Omega XL

Although it seems as if No Limit drops a new CD every other week, not many, in my opinion, are worth the money and the wait. However, after Mac's appearances on many other of his No Limit labelmates CDs, I have been eagerly awaiting his solo CD. After much eagerness on my part, Mac's CD has finally been released and I can now sit, listen and rejoice as I suspected I would and I'm sure I won't be the only individual doing so.

From a relatively plain cover--lacking the crack fiends seeking the man with the hook-up like on There's One In Every Family or the sparkling jewels and pimp theme on MP Da Last Don--it's easy to see that Mac is a much different breed than that of his No Limit counterparts. That is reinforced on the first track, "Boss Chick." The beat is straight dope, with heavy bass and a catchy measure, that features Mac speaking about the kind of woman he desires more than other--a boss bitch. Mia X then joins Mac in the matchup of street thug meets his boss bitch and the union they form is unforgettable. Then, "Be All You Can Be" is an anthem instructing street soljaz to be grateful and fearful of God and to approach everyday living cautiously. Joining Mac are Fiend, Silkk The Shocker and Mo B. Dick--whose production features an interpolation of the George Michael pop hit, "Careless Whisper." Lackluster tracks "Soldier Party", "Murda, Murda, Kill Kill" and "We Don't Love 'Em" precede "Wooo," an energetic collaboration by Mac, Kane & Abel, Big Ed, Snoop Dogg, Mia X and Mr. Serv-On. Trading thuggish tales of braggadocio over a tight beat, "Wooo" may be the most energetic song done by No Limit since "Wootay" on Soulja Slim's CD. Speaking of Souljah Slim, he joins Mac on the next track, "Can I Ball." The union of these two No Limit soldiers is devestating for any speakers, as excellent lyrics and a catchy beat elevate the listener to a realm of southern fried funk. The best track, in my opinion, is undoubtedly "Callin' Me"--a ghetto tale of thug love, maybe even obsession--that Mac has for this young shortie he met at a fast food restaurant. The beat is dope, the message, even though it's been covered before, is wonderfully handled by Mac. I'm not into sentimentality when listening to a No Limit release but "Callin' Me" always stirs up some emotions no matter how many times I hear it.

Even though Shell Shocked is a wonderful disc, it does have its downfalls. "Money Gets," "Soldier Party," "Nobody Make A Sound" and "Meet Me At The Hotel" all are uninspired and leave me wanting more. Also, whenever an artist does a solo project, I like hearing more of the artist than his/her compatriots. Mac is accompanied by many of the No Limit soldiers, and although they rap tight on most of the songs, I would like to hear more of Mac since he's the spotlighted artist. But those are just minor complaints and shouldn't detract anyone from wanting to pick up Shell Shocked.

In short, I was very pleasantly surprised with Shell Shocked. I thought it was excellent, not only lyric-wise but also production-wise. My last No Limit purchase, Souljah Slim, left me very unhappy because Beats By The Pound supplied him with very corny beats. But Mac was lucky to be blessed with some wonderful creations by the No Limit beat masters and he didn't scrimp on the lyrical content either. Shell Shocked is a fantastic purchase, especially for those who are tired of No Limit, you may just be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

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