Hate It or Love It

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Newly realigned with Ludacris' Disturbing the Peace, Chingy looks hard to repeat the success he had with "Right Thurr" on Hate It or Love It, trying to mix his singsongy vocals with synth-and-bass-heavy beats in an unfortunate mix of cheese and posturing that can be hard to stomach. He's all swagger and tough talk, but the production's so fluffy, moving from club-ready to third-rate Casio beats that do nothing to aid Chingy's already suspect rhymes, that it's hard to believe he's anything more than, well, the man who brought the world "Right Thurr." The rapper's certainly not known for his lyrics, relying instead on catchy riffs and drums to propel his songs across radios nationwide, but there's not much here musically that comes close to capturing the sound of his earlier hits. "2 Kool 2 Dance" (is that like "2 Legit 2 Quit"?) uses a decent L.T. Moe half-hyphy beat, but the hook (the title repeated ad infinitum) can't quite redeem itself as dance- or rock-worthy, and the other songs follow suit, whether they're boasts about his cars, his women, his clothes, or the sheer amount of cash he has. To his credit, Chingy doesn't always follow bad rap clich├ęs. He speaks repeatedly of one woman he's fallen for, who he wants to be with and spend money on ("What's mines is yours," he says in "Spend Some $"), and two tracks toward the end of the album even border on the reflective ("Lovely Ladies," about his love for his mother, grandmother, and sisters, and "How We Feel," about the way blacks are treated in America, and containing the perhaps subversive Obama endorsement "I don't think we ready for a lady president/It's evident that it's a man's world, so it's irrelevant"). These however, despite the fact they're reasonably well-executed, seem out of place amid the rest of Hate It or Love It, which is messy and predictable and not even that fun, with nothing to grab onto or remember, not interesting or catchy or angry enough to provoke any kind of strong emotion, more unremarkable than anything else.

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