Artist: Lil ScrappyTitle: Bred 2 Die Born 2 LiveRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Latifah Muhammad
What's the recipe for an album that's sure to have sick enough beats that the lack of lyrical range gets lost in the bass? Simple, ask Lil Jon and 50 Cent to executive produce. You may not remember his last album, but Lil Scrappy's raspy mature voice remains unmistakable on his sophomore release, Bred 2 Die, Born 2 Live (Reprise/BME).
The first track "I'm Back" shows his self-imposed anticipation. "Everything's all good, 'cause Im f*ckin' with Lil Jon." While the first single, "Money in the Bank (Remix)" featuring Young Buck, solidifies the album's uniform feel music that is knockable in the car and that sounds even better in the club.
Despite some lyrical ineptness on songs like "Gangsta, Gangsta" where Scrap kicks, "I'm so gangsta, I eat cereal out the milk." Also, Lil Jon's champion screaming throws the song in such a direction that you almost don't care what Scrappy has to say. And as if we needed an answer to Fantasias baby mama anthem, "Baby Daddy" attempts to be a personal song, but ends up showing Scrappy's immature reasoning; questioning why his baby mama left him when all he did was cheat on her.
Scrappy half-way redeems himself on "Police" whose concept directly faces police brutality and racial profiling-"Wanna go by the book, when you know you the biggest crook." Though the blows are softened by the infusion of comedic skits, the message doesn't get lost in the laughter. Transitioning to a life story track, "Like Me" cracks open the true essence behind the album's title. Showing how far he's come from selling drugs with his mother to going to church and taking care of his family.
Complete with more than a few courses of crunk appetizers on "Touching Everything" featuring Yung Joc, the symphonic beat garnishes the sly lyrics almost perfectly. But the placement of "Ni**a, What's Up" featuring 50 Cent, sticks out like a sore thumb. Sounding more like 50 than Scrappy, it's no wonder the album has mostly a Lil Jon sound.
Scrappy's indecisive topics and straightforward rap style are sprinkled throughout the album, but are acceptable due to his youth. He doesn't sound like a child trying to hang in the adult rap game, but he is still trying to find his niche. By mostly sticking to the rap sound made famous in A-Town, the album doesn't reach for new boundaries but at least shows strong effort.