Master P

The Ultimate Master P

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Ultimate? Hardly. If you're unfamiliar with the gutter mogul/rapper Master P you are much better off starting with Priority's 2005 release The Best of Master P, which focuses on his glory days with his original No Limit label and with his original No Limit soldiers. When people talk about P, that's the era they're most likely referring to, but Koch's The Ultimate Master P stills serves a purpose. Compiling the best tracks off three so-so albums -- P's Good Side, Bad Side and Ghetto Bill along with his group Tru's release The Truth -- The Ultimate saves the curious from having to waste time or money for a taste of P's Koch-affiliated imprint, The New No Limit. While "Act a Fool" and "Who Them Boyz" are welcome thugging reminders of the good old days, and "I Need Dubs" is a clever and fun take on LL Cool J's "I Need Love," little else reaches these heights as P often sounds overly desperate and downright embarrassing when he tries to kick it like Lil Jon, T.I., or any of the other Southern hip-hoppers who were much more relevant when these tracks were dropped. The compilation would be better off if it had a few more albums to pull from, and including an unreleased remix or maybe some liner notes would have made it feel a lot less sleazy. Check it if you want to hear what P was up to in 2004 and 2005 without spending too much cheese, but don't fall for any "Ultimate" hype thrown on this semi-useful set. [The unedited version was initially released with a bonus DVD featuring seven music videos.]

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