Ke'Noe

My Life as a Mack

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Finally dropping his debut disc, My Life as a Mack, after some time spent as a guest MC on various other Southern rappers' sets, New Orleans native Ke'Noe calls on his famous friends to help him out so much that at times he almost seems like a guest on his own record. ("Gold Diggaz" is almost entirely Snoop Dogg's track, but it's a killer). Yet despite the guest spots from Too Short, C-Murder, and others, Ke'Noe dominates the album's best tracks with a deep, growly voice, an easygoing, conversational style, and a lyrical viewpoint that appraises the gangsta scene without either over-glamorizing it or affecting the self-pity that ruins some similar records. (The single "They Hatin' On Me" is more in-your-face than similar tracks by Jay-Z and the like, which sometimes come off as whiny.) The one problem is that the production is a little too samey, with samples and hooks that don't add much to the verbally impressive tracks.

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