Master P

Good Side, Bad Side

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    6
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Master P returned after three years with Good Side, Bad Side, a double disc that's rowdy, fun, and annoyingly uneven with a concept that's unnecessary. The cover art and the individual disc titles ("Good Side" for disc one, "Bad Side" for disc two) point to the flimsy concept. What's confusing is why P's "Good Side" is the usual cheap funk with bragging while his "Bad Side" is flashy R&B with hooks and slick production (is this "Bad" in the '70s sense?). Good Side, Bad Side's run time is only a couple minutes over a CD's capacity, so with filler to choose from it could have been easily trimmed to fit. A good choice would be the opening "Act a Fool," another "No Limit's Back!" swagger of a track that gives a dull first impression of an album that gets much better. It's also the first taste of P's new partnership with the King of Crunk and fellow Southerner Lil Jon. The alliance comes off much better on "Who Them Boyz," a great call-and-response anthem that features a C-Murder rap straight from his jailhouse phone. The dark "Why They Wanna Wish Death," the party anthem "Them Jeans," and "You Don't Know Me" with producer DJ Darryl's sticky funk are other highlights from the "Good Side," but the album's standout moment is "It's a Drought," a spirited narrative about a dope shortage in the hood. While more fun at first, a bunch of thin ideas makes the "Bad Side" the weaker disc on repeat listens, but a couple grand moments do turn up. "Com. 4" is another great weed-shortage song, this time due to a bogarting houseguest and set to a country hoedown beat. "Thug and Get Paper" is P at his minimal and lowdown best, and both "Tell 'Em" and "That Ain't Nothing" are mixtape worthy. The rest of the tracks on the "Bad Side" feel unfinished, like they're demos awaiting R. Kelly's final touchups to ensure radio exposure (there's never been so much Spanish guitar on a No Limit release). Hungry over inspired and anxious over ambitious, this is a placeholder of an album, giving P some face time while he awaits the crunk of the South and the gloss on urban radio to pass. Whittle away some of his half-hearted attempts to be of-the-moment, take away the concept and double-disc grandeur, and you've got a solid No Limit release.

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