Things just
ain’t the same for gangsters. Songs associated with dance moves rule the
airwaves, so any recording artist who isn’t snapping or leaning along has to be
especially on point to be a force on music charts. So what should an emcee known
for bold thuggery do in this evolving rap climate? Absolutely nothing.

Miami native Trick Daddy breezes through the winds
of change with Back by Thug Demand,
the seventh chapter of his criminally-minded chronicle. While many of his peers
have attempted to evolve and show growth as artists, T Double D‘s music and album titles have flaunted his stationary
state of mind. He even uses the album’s introduction to mock those who ask, “Do you have anything else to talk about?

From the harrowing “Born a Thug,” to the convict-empowering “You Damn Right,” Trick refuses to stray far from the
drugs, guns and thugs formula that has defined his work for nearly a decade.
Just mix hard horns, heavy bass and booming vocals to create a disc ready to be
blasted in car stereo systems. Adhering to that theme, Back by Thug Demand showcases a brash set of Chevy-centric
production from The Runners, Mannie Fresh and other beat-makers
capable of delivering melodically-rotund rider music. The Runners provide trunk-rattling bounce for “Bet That” and a
bone-crushing beat for “Breaka, Breaka,” where Trick lays claim to being Florida’s
premiere emcee. TD‘s granite-like
growl never wavers as he raps, “Let’s set
this record straight/Nigga, I run this whole state/There’s only one Mayor of
Dade, and y’all niggas my protégés

Mr. Mayor has always stood apart
from “protégés” by releasing socially-conscious songs, a tendency he suddenly
breaks on his latest project. Whether it’s been the politically-scathing “America”
or the peace-seeking “Thug Holiday,” Trick
has long been a hood with a heart. That awareness is strangely absent
from this album. In its place is a mini-set of crass sex songs with lackluster
production and hollow bedroom boasts. “Tonight” features Jaheim and Trina adding
a slight edge to the thug-love ballad, but “Booty Doo” lacks any redeeming
quality. If the beat’s tedious whistles don’t turn off listeners, the chorus
will finish that job with sophomoric lyrics like, “I like it when you booty doo (jiggle to the left)/I like it when you
booty doo (jiggle to the right)

Back by Thug Demand falters during
its string of sex songs. In fact, the second half of the album suffers when Trick abandons the ominous tone of
previous tracks that worked so well. The Young
-assisted “Straight Up” illustrates how comfortable Trick Daddy can sound when he embraces
the dark side. He adeptly glides over “Gold Rush’s” murky composition and says,
My bloodline’s a level above the thug
line/And according to the CAT scan, I ain’t no ordinary man/See, I run off oil,
and I breath off chronic/I power up off money like a motherfucking bionic
True to the spirit of bionics, Daddy
blends bass, blunts and booty to form the cornerstone of his music.
Though recording artists are often criticized for drinking from the same well
too many times, Trick‘s stagnant
subject matter is ironically one of his best qualities. Some believe that the
game doesn’t change – the players do. Back
by Thug Demand
shows that sometimes, it’s a player’s refusal to change that
keeps his game strong.