Savage Life 4

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Everything was still at the "allegations" stage as Savage Life 4 saw release in 2013, but when Baton Rouge rapper Webbie found himself banned from hip-hop's biggest cable television show for sexual comments that were too vulgar to take, his crossover potential certainly dropped. Didn't help that his purse-snatching arrest made more news than his Savage Life 3, and with his boss, Lil Boosie, locked up on drug charges, the savage life that has tied his albums together seems to have evolved into something the artist's camp is inflicting rather than just experiencing. That's not a moral judgment as much as a comment on the entirely outsider world from which Savage Life 4 was born, but according to "Fucked Her" with Lil Phat, Webbie still "swaps hos like purses," his "clique is strong," and if the club-banging beat from producer J Reid is any indication, this camp still has its eyes on the mainstream. No dirty, C-Murder-like album this time out as the rapper offers his prom song 2013 nomination with the sweet and sugary "Realest," and speaking of high school, "Big" comes on with a Freshman-caliber marching band for its backbeat and offers motivational lyrics to support the home team's annul highlight reel. Hopefully, the coach and his selection committee don't stick around for the slice of life called "Mine" ("I'll probably take her home, and let her get her slurp on"), or the slippery strip club track "Too Much," where Webbie discovers his chosen dancer does "take out" ("Playin' hard to get, but I'm gonna get in there and do time/The lady got her own hotel, she don't need mine"), but these gutter-minded songs are the easy and effortless highlights of the effort, coming off as much more natural than the plays for radio. Trim away the fat and there's a lean, and quite mean, mixtape inside this scattershot album.

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