With every subsequent album of his throughout the late '90s, Trick Daddy took a step further toward his long-awaited national breakthrough, and with Thugs Are Us he finally reached his elusive commercial summit, breaking out of the South and into heavy rotation on every urban radio station in America. "Shut Up," the club anthem from his previous album, Book of Thugs (2000), had almost broken him through, just as "Nann Nigga" had nearly done so even earlier. Yet neither of those hits compare to what Trick Daddy delivers on Thugs Are Us. This is by far the Miami rapper's most impressive work to date, in terms of not just lyrics and beats but also commercial sensibility. Trick Daddy and his Slip-n-Slide team pull it all together on Thugs Are Us, especially on the album's highlights: the club-banging "Take It to da House," the commercial radio-serviced "I'm a Thug," and the Dirty South-rallying "Can't Fuck with the South." On these songs, and to a lesser extent the others, Trick Daddy retains his thuggish posture yet also manages to integrate just enough of a wink to make Thugs Are Us as accessible to the streets as it is to the suburbans. This shift is subtle yet nevertheless noteworthy. Trick Daddy's tongue-in-cheek charm offsets his gold grill and tattoos, more so here than on any previous album. On the downside, like Book of Thugs before it, Thugs Are Us frustratingly incorporates a plethora of guests, none of them superstars in their own right. Yet as it stands, unwanted hanger-ons and all, Thugs Are Us places Trick Daddy alongside Mystikal and Ludacris among the elite class of nationally sanctioned Dirty South rappers.
AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier
feat: Slip-N-Slide Express
feat: Money Mark