Even though Sauce Money is most acclaimed for turning the art of ghostwriting into a lucrative and highly-compensated occupation, by penning Puffy's haunting, Grammy-award winning tribute to B.I.G., "I'll Be Missing You," he is no new jack to discerning hip-hop heads. While "I'll Be Missing You" garnished Sauce widespread recognition, this emcee from the infamous Marcy projects had already begun to solidify his spot in underground circles with appearances on Jay-Z's first two LPs and the blazing DJ Premier produced "Against the Grain" from the Soul in the Hole soundtrack. Sauce does not attempt to recreate the wheel with his debut, Middle Finger U, as it is a loose unregimented project that contains little in the form of concept. Yet, what holds this project together is Sauce's gift of gab, as his slick street bravado and witty punch lines are most arousing on "Pregame" featuring Jay-Z, "What's My Name," and his reunion with Premier, "Intruder Alert." While Sauce's facetious vocals and verbal flair abound with crossover possibilities, his debut sorely lacks one prerequisite -- consistent production. Although Middle Finger U fails to meet expectations, Sauce Money need not fret, after all, Puffy will always need another hit.
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AllMusic Review by Matt Conaway