Mack 10

Hustla's Handbook

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Two of Mack 10's best efforts bookend Hustla's Handbook, a frustratingly overstuffed and spotty effort that dilutes its personality with filler that goes nowhere. With his homeboy Nate Dogg, Mack 10 kills with the opening "Like This," a track that's classic West Coast balling with a bit of David Banner crushing. Counting "Ride Out" with Chingy as a bonus track, the proper closer, "Livin Just to Ball," is far and away the highlight of the album, arguably a Top Five song in the G-funker's catalog. The rapper vividly reminisces about back in the day over Fredwreck Nassar's roller-skating jam on a track that sounds like it should be closing a much more purposeful album. The problem is that the rest of the B-list set of producers here offer either forgettable or derivative beats in a wide range of styles, some that just don't fit. You're four tracks in before "Done Shot" coats the lyrics with the kind of sticky G-funk Mack 10 is most comfortable with, and while the slick productions that sound like Jay-Z's discards are trying, it's the concessions the album makes to Dirty South crunk that are really misguided. "Don't Hate Me" is worthy, and the both the spiritual "The Testimony" and the sneaker-worshipping "My Chucks" are arguments Mack 10 isn't limited to gangsta material, but too much redundant thugging just supports this argument, bloating the album into something unnecessarily unwieldy. The West Coast faithful should check it for the towering highlights while casual fans can catch these bangers on the next hits collection.

blue highlight denotes track pick