Mack 10

Soft White

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Freed from the major-label grind by the 2007 compilation Foe Life: The Best of Mack 10, the 2009 release Soft White is Mack 10's indie debut, although with names like Akon and Rick Ross on the guest list, it is hardly a return to the underground. That's fine, since highly polished gangsta numbers like the Akon vehicle "Clack Clack" -- produced by Green Lantern -- or the Ross and Lil Wayne cut "So Sharp" -- a Don Vito creation -- suit this veteran rapper who achieved Don status yeas ago. "I see the world through Prada when I'm looking through my lenses/And panoramic roofs in all of Benz's" he declares on the key track "Mirror Mirror," doing the usual bravado and boast before transitioning into grown man's business, which in this case, is Mack 10's bitter divorce from TLC member T-Boz. His maturity also shines on the great "It's You Life," a recipe for success on wax that's designed to teach the youth respect and patience with neo-soul crooner Anthony Hamilton. Shame the original street version of "So Sharp" with Jim Jones had to be scraped due to rights issues, but the rest of Soft White is well above satisfying and often more thoughtful than expected.

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