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The Truest S*** I Ever Said

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Album Review

It's the "album the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center didn't want you to hear!" from an incarcerated rapper who gets more dissings than he does praise, but C-Murder's Truest $#!@ I Ever Said is compelling for the most part and a major display of the rapper's growth as — hold on to something — an artist. Being captured by a hand-held recorder straight from his Gretna, LA, lockup gives the album a sound like no other. C-Murder's bleak and surprisingly poignant/surprisingly assured lyrics are delivered close to the mike and in a subdued manner that's quiet enough to not attract a security guard. There's no indication whether these vocals were done in C-Murder's cell or — more likely — the visitor's center, but concrete and glass are close by, adding that last bit of coldness to the man's voice. Besides being an unexpected deep line from the rapper, imagine "See, I'm trained for pain/Even when I lose everything, I gain" delivered in this chilly environment and you've got a taste of the album's fascinating hopeful/hopeless duality. C-Murder offers plenty of insight into day-to-day life in the clink, but what really puts this collection over the top are the tracks that face what he's done to those around him and question whether or not he's a lost soul, forgotten by his homies. "Hustla's Wife" is a shrug of the shoulder to the woman left behind, one that suggests "you know what you were getting into when you got with me" or the gangsta's version of "better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all." "Did U Hold It Down" is a direct question with a tinge of desperation, as Murder hopes the world he built is still there when and if he gets out. Friends are all suspect on the album, which begs the question why the rapper's brother, Master P, is so absent. P and the current No Limit crew are all but forgotten here as C-Murder aligns himself with the dead and buried Soulja Slim, who gets a gloomy thud of a shout-out at the end of the album. The album's most aboveground moment is the redo of Akon's "Locked Up," with the singer/producer himself at the controls for "Won't Let Me Out." It's a success, as are the usual sparse beats and cheap synth numbers, which are rawer than ever. There are a couple of swaggering, thuggish tracks that any prosecuting attorney will be dying to hold up if front of a judge as evidence C-Murder is a killer. They're horribly misguided missteps, but edit them out and you've got one of the controversial figure's best albums and just about the grimmest listen in hip-hop.


Born: 09 March 1971 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

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

Now serving a life imprisonment on murder charges, C-Murder is the younger brother of Master P, the founder and president of No Limit Records. That explains his membership in the No Limit family, the label where nepotism rules, but he's actually one of the stronger rappers on the label. He may stick to the predictable gangsta musical blueprint, but as a rapper, he had an original style and interesting wordplay that separated him from the No Limit pack. C-Murder made his first recorded appearance...
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