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Already Platinum" is the debut solo album from the Houston rap artist, Slim Thug. This came out in 2005, following his signing to Pharrell Williams' record company, Star Trak, and so despite the fact that the styles contrast so heavily, you get this Gangsta Rap perfromer do what he does on some Netunes beats. To most, the artist is most well-known for his collaboration with Gwen Stefani on "Luxurious" and with Beyonce's "Check On It".
1. "The Intro" (Intro)
2. "Like A Boss"
I originally heard this one on the Madden 2006 soundtrack, and it reinforced my liking for his music. On it, you have The Neptunes attempt their best at a Gangsta Rap beat as they comt up with heavy, bassy synth, which gives Slim the best foundations for him to then build upon with raps.
3. "3 Kings"
This was the track, following a collab with Mike Jones on "Still Tippin'", where I recognised that Slim Thug was a big tlaent. i beleive that it was down to the fatc that he chose to perfrom alongside two of the biggest names in the southern scene as you get a hard, typical Dirty South track by him, UGK's Bun B and ATL's T.I..
Here, you get the first real Houston rap track as the artist takes it to the Dirty when taking on some beats from Mr. Lee (a Hip-House pioneer), and gets him rapping with some Chopped & Screwed backign to get things goign in the slowed chorus. This is exaclty what you expect from a Houston rap album, especially with a rapper who was raised around Rap-A-Lot.
5. "Boyz N Blue"
Slim Thug represents the North side of H-Town (Houston) for this one as talks about the Blue side of the city (as opposed to the Red Southern part of Houston. In it, he gets a few of the others who also rep this end (which isn't as many the southern end, which has Chamillionaire, Mike Jones, Paul Wall etc. as you have Killa Kyleon, Sir Daily, PJ and C-Ward all rapping with him.
6. "I Ain't Heard Of That" (Remix)
On this one The Neptunes completely take over as they use their production without considerign the artist, howeer I thought that Slim Thug worked well to make it work for him, without it sounding complelety forced as the beat is rather quick and lively for a Houston rapper.
7. "Click Clack"
Star Trek come in full force for this one as you get some Neptunes beats for this one, and they really ry to do sometihng whcih favours the preferences the likings of the rapper as it is quite hard (yet still retains the original plan for the sound of The Neptunes), and has Clipse Pusha T (another Star Trak artist) to rap with The Boss Hogg.
8. "Everybody Loves A Pimp"
Jazzy Pah takes over on this one as he does the funky production on this one, heard mroe in his early 00s work, and also gets a chance to do some singing on on. Slim Thug expresses how he has been given a pimp staus, and even jacks an old Eazy-E line to do this. Thsi is a predictable, but well-done tune.
9. "Already Platinum"
On this one Slim Thug goes for a hard rap as he talks about the confidence he has for this album, speaking on how it has already achieved platinum sales from hype alone. I think that The Netpunes helped in boosting this one, as the average H-Town screwed tune would be too low on energy to do so.
10. "Ashy To Classy"
Slim Thug's journey is summed up as "Ashy To Classy" on this one. This is his first solo album expect such a track where he talks about how bad his life initially was etc. Thsi was all really predictable, and I have to say that some of the liens sounded to be taken off some 2Pac' amtieral, "Still Ballin'" in particular, so I couldn't give that much respect to him.
11. "The Interview" (Lude)
12. "Playa You Don't Know"
The funky sound which The Neptunes came with around this time comes through in this one as they use a lot of percussion, as opposed to when it was mostly synth-based. This is a strong track which plays up to expectations of Hip Hop in 2004-2005.
13. "Miss Mary"
Cool & Dre do the production here and they come with an unexpectedly strong tune as they use usual R&B techniques, and directly translate them onto this Gangsta rapper's album as he rhymes, "This ain't a love song, this a thug song." as he manages to make the whole thing loving, yet within reasonable boundaries for a true thug rapper.
14. "Incredible Feelin'"
Jazzy Phizzle does the beat in this one, just as he did on "Everybody Loves A Pimp", and once agian he goes for a classy, funky one which has him show off his production talent, and gives Slim Thug something sutainble to get his flow on. Here they perfrom and express their happiness as they have earned so much money in so little time.
15. "This Is My Life"
Slim Thug return to some Gangsta Rap for this one, however I have to say that it was rather uneffective, and I have heard a lot better from him in the past. All of what is said is obvious and suits the fact that this is nothing more than a filler.
To bring things to a close, you have Slim rappign towards all of those who have passed on, and didn't have the opportunity to see how he progressed in the game. It is a personal way to end the album, but is open enough for casual fans.
I listened to this because I was curious to fnd out how the Neptunes sound would work with such an artist, and I was surprised to har how well it all came together. I found that altough it isn't really as 'Dirty' as most Houston rap albums, the release was strong for a genreal rap one.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Intro - Slim Thug
2 Like A Boss - Slim Thug
3 3 Kings - Slim Thug & TI/Bun-B
4 Diamonds - Slim Thug
5 Boyz N Blue - Slim Thug & Killa Kyleon/Sir Daily/PJ/Chris Ward
6 I Ain't Heard Of That - Slim Thug & Bun-B
7 Click Clack - Slim Thug & Pusha
8 Everybody Loves A Pimp - Slim Thug
9 Already Platinum - Slim Thug & Pharrell
10 Ashy To Classy - Slim Thug
11 Interview - Slim Thug
12 Playa You Don't Know - Slim Thug
13 Miss Mary - Slim Thug
14 Incredible Feelin' - Slim Thug & Jazze Pha
15 This Is My Life - Slim Thug
16 Dedicate - Slim Thug
Disc #2 Tracklisting
1 Welcome To Houston - Slim Thug & Killa Kyleon/Chris Ward
2 I'll Show Ya - Slim Thug & Sir Daily/Killa Kyleon
3 Represent Gangsta - Slim Thug & Killa Kyleon/Chris Ward
4 I Need A... - Slim Thug & Killa Kyleon/Chris Ward
5 Dope Man - Slim Thug & Killa Kyleon
6 3 Kings - Slim Thug & TI/Bun-B
7 Like A Boss - Slim Thug
8 I Ain't Heard Of That - Slim Thug & Bun-B