Mr. Serv-On

Da Next Level

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The phrase "taking it to the next level" is one of the perennial rap clichés, nearly as ubiquitous as "throw your hands in the air" or calling out for everyone in the house to say "yo." That alone would make an album called Da Next Level something of a joke, but it seems especially funny coming from a No Limit soldier, since Master P's posse is all about conformity, clichés, and possibly even market research. As it turns out, Mr. Serv-On turns the joke around on his and No Limit's detractors with Da Next Level. Yes, it follows the patented No Limit formula of tinny synths, cheap beats, and borrowed hooks, but there's a difference -- there's more care in the craft and songs than on the usual No Limit platter. Sure, it's bloated at a whopping 75 minutes, but the best cuts on the record are tighter than the average album from the label. Plus, Mr. Serv-On shows a desire to improve his own craft, finding new ways of saying the same old thing and concentrating on his flow. These little differences certainly elevate Da Next Level to a level above the average No Limit release.

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