Trick Daddy [click to read] is indeed still a thug. Though hustlers are Rap’s new thug, the Miami veteran sticks to his guns – and glory. With his first album off of Slip-N-Slide Records, Trick Daddy isn’t afforded household name guests or polished production, but it’s those constants: anger, straight talk and thuggery that make this album a diamond in the rough.

“This Tha Shit That I Live” is an autobiography on how the artist came up, what he lived through and experienced. It’s a sinister track guaranteed to make you bounce as Trick gets gangsta. He proclaims, “If you’re hood like my hood, then you’re feelin’ me…If you’re livin’ like I’m livin’, then you’re feelin’ me.” The autobiography quickly transitions into a tutorial for fake rhymers, drug dealers and youngin’s who talk the talk then hide out. Don’t test Trick Daddy, ’cause if you fire a shot, be prepared to get a couple of shots fired back. The anger fest continues with “Da Realest.” It’s a big-produced song with a lot going on. Call and response background, harmonizing, chattering, band horn snippets, cascading snares, wha wha sounds and unusual highs and devilish lows. On top of that, Trick is angry and determined to remind you that he is still a gangsta in his prime, not to be fucked with. He’s been there and done that, you can’t clone him.

The overall theme of the album continues, it’s shoot, kill and destroy. The hook for, “What Dey Do” featuring Bad Guy and Desloc announces, “What dey do? whatever we tell ‘em / What dey do? whatever we let ‘em / What dey do? if they don’t we’ll kill ‘em.” Not too overly theatric is it, but rather effective, straight-forward rap. Trick maintain their thug demeanor. It’s a chant and react song while the track is on a smooth intense, ‘I’m fired up and I wanna hit somebody‘-vibe. “Count My Money,” with Murk Camp has dramatic space-aged production. Violence is golden, as Trick counts his money and goes Grand Theft Auto in pursuit of keeping that paper coming in. If you need to define the epitome of gangsta music, this song complies on all generalized levels.

Trick Daddy has five songs on the album where he equally shares center stage with a plethora of skilled and powerful female vocalists the likes of, Betty Wright and then the female dichotomy starts to get crazy. The song, “I Can Tell” is misogyny at its lyrical best. No apologies given or even considered. I know that Oprah would not appreciate the lyrics, “She walking like a hoe, she talking like a hoe, she acting like a hoe.” It’s separatist and defeatist lyrics done at its categorized best over a head-nodding groove, but then in the same breath, Trick drops a, “Strong Woman” with Jackie Henton. The song highlights the strong effort of his own mother as he praises and validates the struggles, the importance and the necessity of an independent strong black woman, and the need for her to be uplifted and celebrated.

As a positive brotha who chooses not to refer to my sistas as “bitches” or “hoes” and who refrains from using the words, “nigger” or “nigga,” I can easily comprehend how lyrically some can view this musical installment by Trick Daddy as a mental detriment or even overkill. In the midst of all this lyrical schizophrenia, Trick Daddy does manage to drop substance as well. Surprisingly for me, this album works, as the best and the worse elements of gangsta music continuously collide and hit hard causing a tremendous amount of injuries and casualties. This album is a bi-polar experience. Trick Daddy may finally be famous. He might have been born a thug, he obviously is still a thug in the hustler era of Rap.