Lil Scrappy's name
has become synonymous with crunk. After all, the man crowned himself The Prince of Crunk. But to dismiss his
latest album as simply another generic crunk-influenced album would be a mistake.
As a matter of fact, the album surprisingly has two very distinct sides.
Sure, Lil Jon's
fingerprints are present. Crunk fans can breathe a sigh of relief. But, where Ying Yang Twinz, Eastside Boys and
other acts simply make club songs to these instrumentals, Scrap actually takes time to speak on meaningful topics from time
to time, using the high energy of crunk with a purpose. "Police" is a perfect
example of this. After being harassed at his own concert last year, Scrap takes verbal shots at the boys in
blue, with an intense beat pulsating through the speakers. It's perfect for the
anger in his voice, and is used a vehicle for the fury in his rhymes. "Money In
The Bank RMX" with Young Buck
doesn't fall into that category, but damn that shit bangs!
Variety in production is also a breath of fresh air. Now
that he's linked up with The Unit,
his beat selection has become more diverse. "Baby Daddy" and "Livin' In the
Projects" exemplify this change. The latter of the two adds a deeper layer to
the album, where he openly speaks on poverty in his younger years. 2pac's sample is perfect for the track.
"Like Me" and "Lord Have Mercy" also show that Scrappy is more than capable of penning a meditative, insightful
Now, let's not give him too much credit. There are some
straight up filler tracks. Take "G-Shit," which features Olivia. It's so radio friendly, it sounds forced. "Been a Boss," "Touching
Everything," and "Pussy Poppin'" are all trite as well. None of the
aforementioned hint at the talent that Scrappy
does in fact possess. Another misstep lays in less than stellar performances
from guests Yung Joc, Young Dro, Lil'
Chris, Yo Gotti and Bohagon. Why
have so many wack guests drag your LP down? It ain't just the guests. At times,
Scrap's monotonous "I'm a gangsta" rhymes
can get tired. We get it. You're a G. You ain't gotta keep reminding us with
almost every track. Is he just running out of things to say?
Nevertheless, it's still an album worth checking because it
has two very distinct sides, which could appeal to different kinds of
listeners. One offers inspirational, rebellious, purposeful music. The other
offers cookie cutter cuts, weak guests, filler tracks and meaningless gangsta
bravado. It's by no means two equal parts, which is sad because Scrappy could
have shown a deeper side to The Prince
of Crunk on this album. Is the album great? No. It could have been cut
shorter, and it could have used a little more substance and decidedly better
production for the party songs. But, whether you want to bump it in the whip,
dance to it or simply sit and listen to it, Bred
2 Die, Born 2 Live has a at least a lil' something for you.