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The Best Hustler In the Game, Vol. 1

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Album Review

Despite releasing his last solo album just over a year ago, the first words out of Master P's mouth on Ghetto Bill are, "It's the return of the living legend, man." Does P consider a year a long time away, or is he making a comment on the streets' general indifference toward his sprawling Good Side, Bad Side release? Could be the latter since Ghetto Bill takes none of the chances Good Side, Bad Side did, but to a fault. With plenty of classic Dirty South bangers, returning No Limit soldiers will appreciate P's return to the gutter on Ghetto Bill, but no new fans will be won by this overall single-minded release. Thugging, getting paper, rims, scoring with hood chicks, and all the usual topics are here in excess, something that weighs down the truly grand moments of the album. "I Need Dubs"' interpolation of LL Cool J's "I Need Love" is inspired and the most brilliant single P's unleashed in quite some time. The reflective and talky "Best Hustler" displays that old Master P charm while a loopy Myke Diesel beat makes "Shake What Ya Got" very necessary for Dirty South partying. The whimsical "Whole Hood" offers some relief from all this swagger and bragging, but it's not enough to call this a well-rounded album. Having diluted his importance with an endless parade of mediocre product, "better than usual" is the highest compliment P's gotten from critics and message boards for quite some time. Thicker production and great singles make Ghetto Bill better than usual, but the wicked highlights shouldn't have to fight so hard to be found among all this painfully redundant filler.


Born: 29 April 1969 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Master P created a hip-hop empire without registering on any mainstream radar. For several years, he operated solely in the rap underground, eventually surfacing in the mid-'90s as a recording artist and producer who knew exactly what his audience wanted. And what they wanted was gangsta rap. With his independent label No Limit, Master P gave them gangsta rap at its most basic -- violent, vulgar lyrics, hard-edged beats, whiny synthesizers, and blunted bass. He wasn't a great rapper, nor was anyone...
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