With a multi-platinum previous album, a remarkable Academy Award win for the Hustle & Flow soundtrack, a once six-piece crew now shrunk down to a duo, plus a street date pushed back for more than a year, Three 6 Mafia's ninth official album, Last 2 Walk, went through a difficult birthing process. It also could have been "highly anticipated" if it weren't for leadoff single "I'd Rather" knocking expectations down a peg. Put the odd and very MTV-friendly choice of Good Charlotte on the guest list and things began to look grim and embarrassingly forced, but Last 2 Walk features enough of the group's original gutter stance and scrappy attitude to reclaim fans, at least ones who remember the good old days when minimal, pounding hooks and one thug track after another were more important than crossover potential or cohesive albums. Sure, the very good Lyfe Jennings collaboration "Hood Star" has polish and the Akon appearance is a platinum move, but there's a scrappy charm to a Three 6 Mafia album that puts so much of its raw and ragged baller music up front. And plenty of appearances from longtime friend Project Pat help to reinforce the "back to our roots" attitude. Remaining members DJ Paul and Juicy J stay true to the "Intro"'s promise of "giving you some bump!" with the intense numbers like "Trap Boom" and the cold "Corner Man," plus "On Some Chrome" -- which features UGK and one of the last performances from the late Pimp C. "Lolli Lolli" is the best mix of slick and syrup-sipping in a "Stay Fly" manner, and there's enough creativity and humor in the skits to make them worthwhile. Still, redundancy, a no-flow track list, and half-baked ideas like the tedious "Playstation" ("Don't play with me boy/Play with your Playstation" over and over and over) drag the album down, and the absence of the recent singles "Doe Boy Fresh," "Like Money," and "Suga Daddy" -- all originally promised for this album -- are clues that this isn't the full-length Three 6 originally planned. There's no evidence Three 6 had a fully formed Most Known Unknown-styled album in them either, so consider the uneven Last 2 Walk a fair and necessary placeholder effort with a bit of "back to basics" thrown in to satisfy the faithful.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries