Even with a fat discography already in the books, Live from the Kitchen was designed as Yo Gotti's "official" debut, with all previous efforts relegated to "street" or "independent" status. That's all well and good, as the production (from Drumma Boy, Lex Luger, Shawty Redd, and others) and the guest list (Jadakiss, Big K.R.I.T., Nicki Minaj, and many more) are now well-funded and strong, but a two-year delay due to label problems and some time in court over inciting a riot (charges were later dropped) gave Gotti too much to worry about. As the opening "Testimony" explains, he would have much preferred pushing rock during this time, and as such, Live from the Kitchen is a cocaine-talking, fishscale-dreaming beast of an album with no likeable characters and a bit of a schizophrenia problem. The latter issue is easily overlooked and excused thanks to Gotti's love of being reckless, while the former problem will be embraced by fans of T.I., Young Jeezy, and other lawless snowmen. Plus, when this heartless character shrugs off the whole concept of "respect" by declaring he hardly cares about the legendary Three 6 Mafia, he comes off as Tony Montana at the height of his game, declaring supremacy while speeding down the collision course. His membership in the gangster elite is validated as Rick Ross shows up on the grinding "Harder," and when "Cases" delivers the back-in-court blues with a slowed-down 2 Unlimited sample, this recently crowned Don proves he's clever enough to deserve it. Tack his two-year-old single "5 Star" to the end in its remix version and the album is scattershot to its last breath, but the thrill of watching this hood star threaten to supernova is a real high, one that comes with no life-ruining side effects or any chance of Sosa's men storming your mansion.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries