Being the older half-brother of Three 6 Mafia‘s [click to read] DJ Paul (and fellow co-founder of Triple 6 alongside Paul and Juicy J), you would think it would be without question that you too would be as known to the commercial masses as your Oscar-winning, gold-selling baby bro’. But fate (along with multiple arrests, including a charge for domestic assault last March) hasn’t been as kind to Ricky Dunigan a.k.a. Lord Infamous (b.k.a. Scarecrow), resulting in the Memphis native remaining more of a local sensation than a nationally-known, MTV reality show star living in Hollyhood and hangin’ out with Paris Hilton.
Following in the footsteps of Koopsta Knicca, Gangsta Boo, La Chat, and Crunchy Black, Infamous severed ties with Paul and Juicy, last appearing as a full member of Three 6 on 2003’s Da Unbreakables. However, unlike the aforementioned artists, Infamous appears to have fewer grievances with the Hypnotized leaders and maintains an open line of communication to Paul and Juicy, with rumors of a reunion of the original three heads of Triple 6 currently circulating.
But until that reunion happens, Infamous is grindin’ independent (of both Three 6 and the major labels). The aspiring emCEO started his own label, Black Rain Entertainment, in ’06 with childhood friend II Tone, and released his first post-Hypnotize project, The Man, The Myth, The Legacy, in ’07. And now the Triple 6 o.g. is following up that release with the aptly-titled After Sics, another compilation-style offering designed to shine a light on his new label and its lineup of roughly a dozen acts, who have collectively billed themselves Tha Club House Click.
Unfortunately, the C.H.C. do little worthy of a national spotlight for the first half of After Sics, setting off the album with a half-dozen tracks driven by banal content (the stereotypical bitches-ain’t-shit selection, “Uuugghh”), generic production (the equally stereotypical sound of ominous keys, rat-a-tat-tat snare rolls, triple-time hi-hats and 808 kicks heard on “Gonna Make It Shine”), and mostly unremarkable rhymes (Mac Montese stereotypically spitting “Now my top notch thugs, we came to burn the roll up/Load up, hold up, rough and rugged, they can’t control us” on his painfully amateurish solo showcase, “Fed Up”).
Thankfully, at the album’s midpoint Scarecrow and his Club House Click begin to slightly shed the traditional M-Town sound and get a little less buck, broadening their sound and scope to include some good ole fashioned ridah music on the disc’s sonic standout “High As A Fool.” On the ride-and-smoke anthem, the C.H.C.‘s most lyrically advanced member (and not surprisingly a onetime Hypnotize Minds signee) T-Rock delivers one of his two scene-stealing performances (the other can be heard on the first verse of the otherwise bland “The Streets”) when he cleverly takes aim at the high-and-mighty critics of his way of life: “Take a peak at me now, I’m on cloud 11/Smokin’ Ak-47, now I’m headed to heaven/Don’t be tellin’ the reverend, ’bout the dope in the place/Throw a stone at me I just might blow the smoke in his face.“
The Atlanta native would’ve been a perfect fit with the A-Town sound of the organ-driven “Work Dat Scale,” but mysteriously fails to appear alongside his Area 51 crew. In fact, Lord Infamous could have salvaged much more of the otherwise underwhelming After Sics by including T-Rock, and additional spitters of his caliber, on more of its tracks.
Save for a handful of songs that can appeal to listeners outside of the 901, the latest platform for the Black Rain roster to shine will likely only serve to ensure the Club House Click doesn’t reach an audience beyond their M-Town stomping grounds. For now, it appears as though Lord Infamous will continue to stand in the shadow of his little brother’s cross country success, still a little too hood for Hollywood.