Ridin' High

8Ball and MJG

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Ridin' High Review

by Marisa Brown

8ball & MJG (or Eightball & MJG, as they used to call themselves) have been the kings of Memphis rap for quite some time now, even going so far as to refer to themselves as "living legends." That's not exactly an overstatement. They've inspired countless Southern rappers and helped to foster a strong hip-hop community in their home city, and now, signed to Bad Boy Records, they're able to reach an even wider audience. Their second album on Diddy's label, Ridin High, is a super-produced tribute to the things the duo love best: drugs, money, and women (there's even a song titled "Alcohol Pussy Weed"). From the first single, "Relax and Take Notes" (featuring a Biggie line from "Dead Wrong," not any new material from the deceased rapper), to "Worldwide" to "30 Rock" (the only track to have a non-Southerner guest, this one being Mr. Combs himself), 8 and MJ rhyme their way through heavy synth crunk beats and smooth slow jams. Their lines aren't revolutionary -- the kind of typical braggadocio so much associated with hip-hop at this point -- but their delivery is fluid and well practiced, their cadences moving from singsongy triplets to rough and fast eighth notes easily, and only occasionally do their rhymes really fall short (the best example being, from the Jazze Pha-produced "Pimpin' Don't Fail Me Now," "I'm about to turn you inside out/I'm about to look into your heart though your mouth/With my dickoscope"). Listeners familiar with 8ball & MJG will probably be a little disappointed with Ridin High: it's more focused on club anthems than the group has been before, but it's this same thing that should make the album appeal to those looking for good, commercial Southern rap. The duo is aware of this transition, and the ever-growing popularity of their music and their audience, but they want to make sure everyone knows that that hasn't changed their lives or what they believe in. "I could give a muthaf*ck about a flow and hustle," 8 spits on "Memphis," which samples a short line from the Marc Cohn adult contemporary classic "Walking in Memphis." Maybe that's true, but mainstream success of a certain film, and a certain style, definitely won't hurt their album sales.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 8Ball and MJG 00:48 Amazon
2 8Ball and MJG feat: The Notorious B.I.G. / Project Pat 04:51
3 8Ball and MJG 04:18 Amazon
4 8Ball and MJG 04:29
5 8Ball and MJG feat: Three 6 Mafia / Slim 05:20
6 8Ball and MJG feat: Pimp C 04:50 Amazon
7 8Ball and MJG feat: Diddy 04:23 Amazon
8 8Ball and MJG 01:33 Amazon
9 8Ball and MJG 04:53 Amazon
10 8Ball and MJG feat: Killer Mike 05:13 Amazon
11 8Ball and MJG feat: Yung Joc 03:50 Amazon
12 8Ball and MJG 03:37 Amazon
13 8Ball and MJG 00:30
14 8Ball and MJG feat: Juvenile / Jazze Pha 03:56
15 8Ball and MJG 04:26 Amazon
16 8Ball and MJG feat: Poo Bear 05:22 Amazon
17 8Ball and MJG feat: Al Kapone 03:59 Amazon
18 8Ball and MJG 04:00
19 8Ball and MJG 04:20
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