There’s an unabashed simplicity to Mack 10 & Glasses Malone’s collaborative effort, Money Music (as Mack and Malone). The South Central, Los Angeles luminaries stick strictly to the Gangsta Rap script, never veering from the drop-top rider music and raucous lawlessness that so viscerally defines the celebrated Hip Hop sub-genre.
“So you can call this four-fifth The Love Gun. / But this kiss [is] the kiss of death when the cum comes. / We was taught to leave no witness where I come from, / So you’re daughter gotta go,” raps Glasses on album opener “Everybody Got To Go,” vividly unleashing the unapologetic consequences of the game’s dark side straight out the gate. Classic OG Mack 10, with his autobiographical bars of brazen perspective rolling in over hollowed drums and a brooding bass line, rocks “Extra Extra” solo dolo. It’s enough to applaud tepidly out of reflex for a matured “Chicken Hawk,” dropping first person gems from a Boss’s panorama.
“Winning” feels like it’s crafted for a big baller Bar-B-Q; like California dreaming with a thumping backdrop and appropriately used Auto-Tune pumping through the speakers and a subtle acoustic guitar strumming the strings of success. It’s a celebratory by nature and Mack and Malone deliver on the mood -- one of the album’s best offerings. “And who don’t want to score? / Land of the Cutlass, who don’t want a Porsche? / Slow road to success, who don’t want it short? / Hate the middle man? Nigga, come to the source / And that’s me, / M-A-C-K,” raps Mack 10 on “Back To Business,” a quality verse on one of Money Music’s several shots of mediocrity.
Second hand production and lulls of loquaciousness is the unfortunate reality of this LP. On an album entitled Money Music, a track named “Money Drunk” embodying little more than the commercial excess peddled righteously by a corporate sea of swill-merchants over a bootleg Mannie Fresh high-hat infestation screams cliche. Cursory inserts, “Got It Like That” and “Girls Everywhere” feel unnecessary after “Winning.” “Dear DEA” is super solid, and saving grace, “Until The Feds Came,” with its soulful backdrop and masterful depictions of scandalous females flipping the script after the indictments are handed down from both Mack and Malone is easily Money Music’s most potent offering. It’s earnest and honest and progressive, resonating on every level, memorable in every sense. When word spread about this Boss meets Henchman collaboration called Money Music, it was clear what to expect: reality-laced raps loaded with replay value.