Mack 10

The Paper Route

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Mack 10 scales back his collaborative impulse on The Paper Route, the follow-up to The Recipe (1998), an album on which every song but one was a collaboration. The Paper Route is still laden with guest features, but at least there are a handful of solo performances (four out of 11 songs), so that Mack 10 doesn't seem like a guest on his own album. One of those solo performances, the album-opening "From tha Streetz," is a highlight, with an interpolation of Whodini's "Funky Beat" for its hook. Another, "Hustle Game," is also a highlight, driven by a laid-back Easy Mo Bee production. As usual, Ice Cube shows up on a couple songs, "Nobody" and "Tha Weekend"; both are standouts, but the former is especially noteworthy, for it also features Timbaland, who produced it. Other noteworthy guest features include "Tight to Def" (which features T-Boz of TLC) and "Pimp or Die" (Too Short), while on the other hand, the overabundance of features for Techniec (five in total) is a detriment to the overall album, which -- like The Recipe, though not to such an extent -- is hobbled by too many collaborations and not enough Mack 10. Nonetheless, if you don't mind skipping over a track here and there, or if you don't mind sitting through some dull guest features, The Paper Route is a worthwhile listen for fans of West Coast gangsta rap, for the album has impressive moments.

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