Whenever someone makes an audacious claim before even sniffing a spot on Billboard’s Top 100, you have to sit back and wonder how detached they are from reality. In Hip Hop, we’ve watched a slew of artists make ballsy proclamations. There was Kendrick Lamar’s attempt to usurp the crown from everybody and their mama on Big Sean’s magnum opus, “Control.” There was Nicki Minaj calling herself the next Jigga. We’re so enthralled by rappers’ high level of confidence because ultimately, we want them to quash our doubts. It’s part of the game. It’s what makes their stories even more intriguing. One story that’s waiting to be told comes in form of No Limit’s newest signee, MoeRoy.
After a hellacious run with No Limit in the late 90s and early 2000s, Master P earned himself a spot in Hip Hop’s round-table of masterminds. Fast forward to 2016, and the business savant is hungry to relive his glory days with his newest platoon. P’s quest to redemption starts with MoeRoy, the self-proclaimed, Trap Michael Jackson, whose debut effort is absolutely nowhere near Thriller, but has glimpses of promise.
Trap Michael Jackson is an ambitious attempt to make a splash in a pond featuring Billboard darlings Fetty Wap and Future — two artists MoeRoy emulates throughout the album. “Make Me Better” is drenched in Auto-Tune and has hints of the “March Madness” All-American. Even though MoeRoy’s sound is vastly similar to that of Super Hendrix, he flawlessly tucks Future’s sound underneath his arm like a sturdy running back without fumbling once on the track. The same can’t be said for “2 Seata,” where the track sounds like a blatant mash-up of Future’s “Same Damn Time” and “Move That Dope.”
“With Myself” is another catchy record, which when you close your eyes, eerily sounds like what would happen if Young Thug and Rich Homie Quan were placed in a blender. While it’s easy to slash MoeRoy for his lack of originality, it’s hard to debunk his ear for production. “Corners” finds him crooning effortlessly over the ominous-sounding instrumental produced by BlaqNmilD and JSlugg. Master P even gets busy with his young Soldier by dropping some mean bars. “No Limit boys from the corner / play with one and you’re a goner,” he starts off his menacing verse.
Sadly, right when you’re ready to salute MoeRoy, you realize that the melody for “Need Love” sounds just like Snootie Wild’s “Yayo.” Coincidence? Prob but when you’re attaching to yourself to a musical immortal like Michael Jackson, originality is a must. Traces of the Gloved One are scattered throughout the album, especially on “I’m a Dog”, where MoeRoy touts himself as the “Mike Jack/Mike Vick” while squealing “Leave me alone” — à la MJ throughout the song.
What kills MoeRoy the most are the lofty expectations he places upon himself. By dubbing his debut project Trap Michael Jackson, he forces his listeners to assume that they’re going to go on a joyride through his hood version of Neverland Ranch. While MoeRoy was able to get some buckets with his newest offering, some more practice shots in the gym wouldn’t hurt one bit moving forward.
In other words, you can’t call yourself Kobe off the rip, and not expect us to expect 81 on the box scores.