Trick Daddy

Back by Thug Demand

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It took Trick Daddy two years to follow up the great Thug Matrimony, and while that doesn't seem like much to most folks, in pre-release interviews Trick was apologetic and promising this album will be followed up next year; no long wait. After a couple of spins it becomes apparent that Back by Thug Demand is a very good album but short of being one of his best. The problem seems to be Trick's over-anxiousness to get back in the game and prove he's still vital. This attitude makes for one hungry, down-low beast of an album, but the overall product isn't as well crafted as Thug Matrimony and even if the redundant numbers are shuffled skillfully into the play list to help hide them, they are there. Luckily the highlights are all hard winners, sometimes with that Trick wit and sometimes with his gargantuan, intimidating attitude. The good-timing "So High" finds the rapper working some "this is your captain speaking"-type airline talk into a polished bud smokers anthem, while "Straight Up" with Young Buck is just about the most fun you can have while threatening a rival crew. "Lights Off" is Trick at his trashy, strip-club best while both "Bet That" and "Tuck Ya Ice" have inescapable hooks with high-profile guests -- Chamillionaire and Baby, respectively -- giving their all. The skits with the character Kiki are back and still funny, and at 15 tracks it's a pleasingly tight album, at least when compared to the over-stuffing that ran rampant across hip-hop full-lengths in 2006. While it's not as ambitious or astonishing as the last one, if Trick's plans were to hold it down and keep the longtime fans happy, Back by Thug Demand is a success.

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