"Monkey" can be Southern slang for an obstacle, and the title of Goodie Mob's fourth proper CD simply means they're going to keep going as a three-piece. Ain't no thing. But if the public thinks the remaining members of Goodie Mob are portraying departed member Cee-Lo as a monkey, that'll bring attention their label won't mind at all. One Monkey Don't Stop No Show is strong enough not to need the controversy and strong enough to put its kickoff single at the end of the album. A laid-back gangsta track with Kurupt and Sleepy Brown, "Play Your Flutes" is the single and proof that the Mob have plenty of life left in them post-Cee-Lo. They sound more like a group than they did with the couldn't-be-anything-other-than-an-individual Cee-Lo, a group that's lazily climbing back to the heights of their debut. Despite the expected "Goodie's still going" lyrics and the title track, the album is refreshingly unconcerned with the departure and kicks off with five languid but grooving numbers. Poke at the skip button while checking it out at the store and nothing hits home, but give it a lazy Saturday to fully sprawl and it works. Putting introspective tracks up front, bangers in the middle, and glittery funk at the end is an interesting arc for a rap album and one that works for Goodie. Upfront lyrical triumphs like "God I Wanna Live" and the deep and dirty "Shawty Wanna Be a Gangsta" are good reminders of what the three have contributed in the past. It also makes the lesser hard tracks in the middle of the album sound fresher than they should by building some tension. The middle isn't horrible, just ignorable, and the three closing tracks are A-list. Producers Organized Noize live up to their lofty reputation on their handful of tracks, but it's DJ Speedy that steals the show with his combination of Southern sounds and near-Bad Boy sparkle. Uneven, especially compared to their earlier records, and less ambitious than the "bring it on" misinterpretation of the title might make you think, One Monkey Don't Stop No Show recasts the group as a cohesive unit and puts them back on the "ones to watch" list.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries
feat: Big Rube
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