Sorry, I just woke up from the coma-inducing album that is Cashis' County
Hound EP. Thank the good Lord that it's only an EP, because I would've
slept the whole damn day away.
Rewind back to Eminem Presents: The Re-Up. The oft-delayed
mixtape/album was set to push the newest additions to the Shady fam - Cashis
and Bobby Creekwater - as well as their already established
roster - D12, Obie Trice, 50 Cent
and Stat Quo. Coming into the album, I had low expectations
for Creekwater and significantly higher ones for Cashis.
Turns out I was completely wrong - Creekwater has a tremendous
flow and unique delivery, while Cashis is extremely
uninteresting - though a competent lyricist.
Before we get to the songs, let's talk production. Em did a
great job on Obie's second album, so why in fucking
hell is this shit so terrible? I finally thought Shady was
turning a leaf in the production department, but instead he went and made the exact
type of beats he's criticized for. Same minor-key, military-sounding
bullshit he brought on The Re-Up. Good
thing he didn't produce every track, or I'd simply have nothing to write for
Lyrically, Cashis rarely brings anything interesting. You
gangbang - we get it. You have a nine - sweet. There are eight tracks on this EP,
and all of them have the same bullshit gangsterisms that are far too prevalent
these days. Besides, other dudes do it better (Styles P, I see
you). What makes things worse, dude's voice is whiny as hell, and he rarely
tries different flows or inflections.
Let's do some quick math here: We've got eight tracks - one of them is the
intro, so we'll just bump that down to seven. You've got "That Nigga A Gangster,"
"Gun Rule," "Pistol
Poppin," which all might as well be the same song. You'd think "Pistol Poppin"
would be somewhat interesting due to a feature from Eminem,
but the Shady general's verse is completely uninspired, though
his flow is flawless as per usual.
Now we're down to four tracks - "Thoughts of Suicide," "Lac Motion" (a
bonus track on an EP? What the fuck?), "Ms. Jenkins," and "Just Like Me." "Thoughts of Suicide"
has a similar title to the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Suicidal Thoughts,"
and similar lyrical content - but that's where the similarities end. Cashis'
execution is completely tedious, and favors more boring gun talk, rather than
making an attempt at creativity. "Lac Motion" is probably the most
interesting beat on the album, with some interesting sax in the background -
unfortunately, Cashis completely ruins it with more of the
same 'ol shit.
The only good songs on the album are "Ms. Jenkins" and "Just Like Me." The former
plays out as Cashis telling the story of a man he killed, then
addressing both the man's mother, Ms. Jenkins, and the victim
himself, Brian: "Dear Brian,
it's Cashis, I can't sleep/I had to bang you
before you banged me/Just like like I blame you, you can blame me/We both gave
up our lives for banging/We didn't know each other, but we shared the same
hate/Your death is my life, so we shared the same fate." The sample of Queen's
"Bohemian Raphsody" is
fitting, making this the album's best cut.
"Just Like Me"
has Cashis lamenting that his children have grown up to
be like him. Hypocritical, if you think about it. If you're sad your kids are
gang bangers like you claim to be, why don't you do something about it? Instead
of putting out some positive music, you decide to put out negative bullshit, and
don't even do it in a creative fashion? Despite the perplexing nature of this
particular song, Cashis' execution is fairly good.
Maybe it's the production. Maybe it's because I've been spinning Pharoahe
Monch's Desire for the past three days. Whatever the reason, Cashis
comes off to me as just another rapper. He's competent at best, and as
far as I'm concerned, that just doesn't cut it...no matter who is backing you.