Lately, no news has been good news for Trill Entertainment. The boutique label’s star, Lil Boosie, has been indicted for a murder that could see him facing the death penalty. A month removed from Boosie’s last solo album, Trill Fam’s All Or Nothing seemingly came out of nowhere. Perhaps it’s the fourth quarter swarm of releases, or maybe parent label Warner Brothers is simply trying to wash their hands of troubled Trill. Those questions aside, the ones that matter going forward plague this project. Can Webbie, Foxx and company carry the weight of negative press, dwindling expectations and the fact that their biggest group member is looking at extensive time? The label is unquestionably at a crossroads. And All Or Nothing is a big wager that may not work to the future’s favor.
With All Or Nothing being a springboard for the new artists, the label sees potentially its biggest hit since “Wipe Me Down” with “Turn the Beat Up.” Mouse rides the high energy beat to perfection and the catchy hook will be heard in clubs and stadiums for the considerable future. On a record that has over 10 features, Mouse is the only true winner. Between “Turn the Beat Up” and the show-stealing “Rubbing On My Head” Mouse demonstrates his worth to the label and its future. Aside from the cliché “Duck Off,” Mouse should have drummed enough of attention to spark a proper solo feature.
The compilation’s production varies from ridiculously solid to annoyingly simple. For every dope synth that the project features, a producer will strike out stretching for a hit. “Memories” is an example of when the Trill Entertainment production team hits gold. The high energy production matches the intensity of Webbie and Boosie. Meanwhile, “My Baby” sees overused subject matter meet extremely simplistic music. The album can’t afford to have offerings like the aforementioned “My Baby.” No one is disillusioned to the fact that Trill doesn’t have a roster of artists who are lyrical, or insightful. However, fans do expect the music to bang in their trunk and if nothing else make their head nod. The inconsistencies throughout All Or Nothing fail to do either for an extended period of time.
When the album is bad, it’s just plain awful. “My People” clearly wins the prize. It’s not the production, which is surprisingly solid. The negative is the song’s repetitiveness and dumbed-down lyrics that chase any hope of the song being anything but a club moment in 2010. The track almost comes off as a parody of southern music, which is surprising considering Webbie is one of Trill’s most established artists. Webbie’s lack of top notch features on the album is a cause for concern for the already star-depleted roster.
“Where Would I Be” is the only track on the project that delves into the depth of human emotion. Lil Boosie’s verse is the highlight of the project. It’s the first time he goes in depth about the time he’s facing. In a mere two minutes of rapping, Boosie is able to tell his story better than any media outlet can. Lines like, “I fucked up all my blessings” and “Look what balling gotcha” sees an artist reflecting on a lifestyle that seems rather meaningless compared to the time he’s facing and the family he’s missing. Later lyrics like “All I got is all of my family and we ain’t really talking,” aren’t lyrical, but their utter honesty draws the listener in. The song doesn’t save the album but it is a verse that Boosie will ultimately be remembered for. Facing a lengthy bid, it’s a rare moment where an embattled artist sees “What balling got him.”
Trill Fam’s All Or Nothing shows a label at the brink of rising to the top or fading away. The direction and attitude they choose will dictate the length of time they have to make their mark. As expected, the compilation affirms that innocent or guilty, Lil Boosie remains their brightest voice. As Webbie shows that he’s no longer capable of holding the line himself, a lot will fall to Mouse if Trill is to keep diversifying. With a knack for making music for Western Louisiana and the surrounding areas, the group remains strong, but the national and mainstream appeal appears deeply jeopardized.