Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Master P

  • The Ice Cream Man [No Limit/Priority, 1996] Choice Cuts
  • Ghetto D [No Limit/Priority, 1997] C+
  • MP Da Last Don [No Limit, 1998] C+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

The Ice Cream Man [No Limit/Priority, 1996]
"Time to Check My Crackhouse" Choice Cuts

Ghetto D [No Limit/Priority, 1997]
The title track is noxious and miraculous, hooked to a hectoring male singsong unlike anything I've ever heard. Subject: how to manufacture and distribute rock cocaine. The hit vies in rank sentimentality with "Candle in the Wind," hooked to a male groan also unlike anything I've ever heard. Subject: dead homies, a hard reality turned soft metaphor. The rest is underproduced propaganda for, reflections of, or fantasies about thug life that hold intrinsic interest only for live homies and their wannabes. Question: Why aren't crack buyers also victims of this "black-on-black crime" that must stop? And another: Why aren't there better things to do with talent and initiative? C+

MP Da Last Don [No Limit, 1998]
The beats speed up without losing their deep post-Cali bump, especially on the nonstop "Make Em Say Uhh #2." The artiste camouflages his rapping by passing work to his brothers and collecting chits from Bone-Thugs and Snoop. Political analyses are essayed. So the brutally predictable solo smashes by said brothers, the cold Silkk the Shocker and the crude C-Murder, are less fun. But they're also less aggravating. In addition to givens about social services and law enforcement, we get "Niggas don't kill niggas--media kill niggas," "why the government don't protect superstars," "no Grammy nominations," and complaints that his taxes are too high. We get all the usual misogynist ugliness and black-on-black crime. We get Snoop calling Puffy out without going so far as to utter his name. "The ghetto's got me crazy" I know--that's the cliche P patented with his groan. But "too legit to quit"? Where have I heard that before? C+