I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T do you know what that means? It means that once again, strong singles by independent artists are dominating mainstream Rap. Webbie is one of the youngsters hoping to be recognized as a credible, dominant southern powerhouse with his sophomore album, Savage Life 2 (Asylum).
Led by the female friendly club hit Independent, Webbies album immediately blares southern beats and melodies you can groove to. Six 12's also hits hard from the jump and makes your head bob immediately.
Ya'll Ain't Makin' No Money is another bounce track that makes you want to move; as it resembles a Mannie Fresh beat from the old Cash Money days. Thuggin speaks of Webbies past street life, but the cameo from his partner in crime Lil Boosie doesn't connect as well. His high pitch voice and unique rap style makes the concept of Thuggin hard to grasp.
Lyrically Webbie doesn't get too complex. On "Hot" Webbie raps: Im hot / Its my turn / I wouldnt touch me because my hand might burn. It loudly reminds you of the flashiness and bragging mindset that has unfairly stereotyped the Dirty South.
The young Baton Rouge rapper gets more personal on You A Trip; one of the only tracks Webbie gets deep and shows some emotion. He tells a story of what many rappers and our people in general, go through once success comes their way; your friends think youve changed and you fight to prove that you havent.
On a brighter note, the founding members of the legendary UGK appear on the disc but at separate times. Doe Doe features a verse from Bun B. If you already know Bun is on the track, you often bypass the other verses and wait for him to appear, but while Big Bun gives a solid verse, he leaves you hoping that youll get more from him. One thing is for sure though, the clubs are guaranteed to get real smokey when this track hits.
The late Pimp C graces the hook on Fly As An Eagle, and while the 70's laid back style of Pimp immediately grabs you, the listener can only hope Pimp will drop a few bars or at least some adlibs, but it doesnt happen. Other high-powered guests include Letoya Luckett ("I Love You"), and Baby and Rick Ross ball along Webbie on "A Miracle."
As with a lot of southern artists, the beats carry the album. If you have a long trip to a far destination, this is a good album to bob your head to. But dont look for any thought provoking lyrics. However, this is still a respectable effort that will help keep Baton Rouge on the map for a while.
"Independent" featuring Lil' Boosie and Lil' Phat