With all his reinventions and rebirths, it can be one step forward, two steps back with Master P, but the gutter Living Legend: Certified D-Boy is a confusing sidestep. Ignoring the five or so monikers he's grabbed in between, the very minimal liner notes read "I went from Ice Cream Man to Cookie Monster," but they might as well say, "Young Jeezy was pulling in some serious paper rapping about cocaine dealing, so I'm doing it again and as vicious as ever despite my kid working for Nickelodeon." A stripped-down ode to dealing with a David Banner-style loop, "Cookie Money" is the best of the lot and would be equaled by "Score Money" if it weren't for P's ridiculous declaration "I refuse to go out like f*ckin' Ray Charles" as if he's found a cure for liver cancer. Even worse is the despicable intro to "Ridin Dirty" where P lies to the police about an uncle killed by Hurricane Katrina just to get away with the drugs undiscovered. Writing the man off after that misstep would be easy if half the album didn't convincingly recall the irresponsible thrill of his grimy early days. Then there's the production skills of Myke Diesel and Drumma Boy, who still work hard for P despite the man's indifference to coming up with anything fresh himself. Lyrically, Jeezy's influence is everywhere where the G-Unit-flavored beefing and gunshot sound effects aren't, but with hard, stripped-down street beats and a shorter than usual track list, the blueprint for the next great Master P release is in here somewhere. It's so hidden by P's carbon-copy posturing that only hardcore fans need be excited while everyone else can keep on ignoring.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries