Trick Daddy takes his career to the next level on Book of Thugs: Chapter AK Verse 47, moving to a major label, Atlantic, and delivering his first coast-to-coast hit, "Shut Up." His previous two releases, Based on a True Story (1997) and www.thug.com (1998), had established him as one of the Dirty South's most promising rappers, particularly after "Nann Nigga" became an underground hit, but these gritty releases never crossed the Mason-Dixon Line nor the Mississippi River. On the contrary, Book of Thugs burst out of the South, thanks largely to the financial backing of Atlantic. For the first time in his career, Trick Daddy had a sizable budget to work with, and the results are wonderfully evident. Both the beats and the vocals sound incredibly vibrant, on a par with anything coming out of New York or Los Angeles at the time; furthermore, two big-name guests, Mystikal and Twista, make notable appearances, finally giving Trick Daddy some impressive talent with which to tangle. Above all though, Book of Thugs boasts "Shut Up," his rowdiest club-banger yet, also notable for reprising the dynamic Trick Daddy-Trina collaboration that had made "Nann Nigga" such a success two years earlier. Elsewhere, Book of Thugs features a few other highlights ("Boy," "Get on Up," "Thug for Life"), but it's by no means a solid album. The excessive guests are a bit frustrating, tempting you to fast forward through lackluster verses far too many times, and the production of Righteous Funk Boogie and Black Mob Group is spotty, sounding less impressive as the album creeps toward its distant end. Book of Thugs nonetheless raised the bar for Trick Daddy, elevating him to national status and setting the stage for his commercial breakthrough.
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AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier
feat: Money Mark
feat: Buddy Roe
feat: Buddy Roe