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DJBooth Album Review
Four years ago, the commercial masses were introduced to the undeniable charm of the Houston Hip-Hop movement. With "Still Tippin" as the anthem, Mike Jones, Paul Wall and Slim Thug helped bring that Southern hospitality to Northerner's doorsteps (and wallets). While the former two artists went on to enjoy platinum-certified rookie seasons, the Neptunes' creative control over the bulk of Slim Thug's debut album, Already Platinum, likely alienated much of the emcee's established fanbase. With a new label (E1, formerly Koch Records) that seemingly allows him to sit back in the driver's seat, the Thugga unveils Boss of all Bosses, a mixed bag that revisits the Boss Hogg's signature sound but doesn't speak much for forward progress.
By this point, Slim Thug's trademark lyrical topics of candy-painted automobiles, supreme braggadocio, and pulling any female in the vicinity are unlikely to excite listeners on their own, but, when done with flair, can still result in a quality product. The Kingz from the Underground show up on "Leanin" to add their trademark versification to Mr. Lee's bouncy combination of strings and swanky bass, whereas Paul Wall helps smooth things out the carefree "Top Drop," which fittingly evokes visions of cruising the interstate minus the roof. And while first single "I Run" may be a stretch for radio acceptance, the electrifying synthesizer and Yelawolf's catchy chorus gives ...Bosses some much needed diversity.
Despite his booming baritone and ability to ride a beat as well as the Cadillac he constantly touts in his rhymes, Slim Thug still manages to stagnate over a considerable portion of the LP. The stale "My B*tch" comes off as just another retread of Biggie's "Me & My B*tch,” and the looped Case sample playing aimlessly in the background adds to the incongruity. "Welcome 2 Houston" manages to spotlight nearly every rapper to ever come out of Texas, but painfully pales in comparison to 2005's "Draped Up (H-Town Remix)." Mannie Fresh proves there's no love to be lost (or gained) with a humdrum chorus on the tepid "Show Me Love," which sees Slim simply going through the motions of his own horn-laden melody. Even the revamped version of "I'm Back" misses its mark, making more of a ripple than a splash due to production that's more subdued than that of the original.
Minor miscues (see Killa Kyleon on Auto-Tune for "She Like That") are unfortunately magnified over the album's skimpy tracklisting, causing Boss of all Bosses to be mediocre where it could have been major. All things considered, Slim Thug can still maintain his administrative position in the game despite this sophomore slump. Hopefully in the future he'll choose to be a little more artistic with his own executive decisions.
DJBooth Rating - 3 Spins
Written by TC_TSS on Mar 26, 2009
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