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Being a fan of Lil Scrappy's previous work with artists such as Trillville and Lil Jon I was highly anticipating the release of this album, his 'true' debut so to speak and I was not let down by this effort. In my view it is 'crunk' at its best.
** Stand-out Tracks**
Money in the Bank - This was the first single to be taken from this release and this is the best song on the album in my view. This tune is great for the clubs and the hook is very catchy indeed. Features Young Buck from G-Unit and is one of the few appearances of the G-Unit conglomerate on the album.
Been a Boss - Real stand-out track for me, cannot fault it. Features Bohagan and is a gritty track with polished production.
Gangsta Gangsta - A real favourite of mine. Featuring Lil Jon, this song encapsulates Scrappy doing what he does best, creating really catchy 'crunk' tracks.
Livin' in the Projects - A great heartfelt, truthful track exploring Scrappy's tough upbringing and how he escaped from poverty to make something of himself. This song samples the late Tupac Shakur's track 'Smile' in its hook. Very insightful and deep is how I would describe this song and it definitely shows Scrappy taking a different route from the usual club banger tracks that he is famous for.
G-S**t - This track features the former first lady of G-Unit, Olivia and is really up-tempo and soulful. In my opinion, it was nice to have a female contribution on the album and Olivia's voice is perfect for this song.
Oh Yeah (Work) - (Bonus Track) - Features Sean Paul and again has a great beat. One of the best songs on the album in my view and should have been a main track rather than a bonus one.
** Opinion **
Most of the tracks on this album are brilliant. However, there are numerous "filler" tracks that are generally very weak. Nonetheless, this does not detract from this album being great in my opinion. One thing that does slightly annoy me about this record is the amount of times that Scrappy has to stress that he is 'gangsta.' We get the picture...really!
The album is well produced, with the likes of Eminem and 50 Cent being involved in this part and features many strong beats. It is a perfect crunk album in my view.
Despite having had this album for years I still play it frequently on my ipod and some of the really good songs never seem to get old.
If you are a fan of Lil Scrappy or just Southern Hip Hop in general then this album is a must for you! However, some of the songs are rather explicit, so just a little warning on that front, but given that it is a rap album surely this should really go without saying huh?
The then-Lil' Jon and 50 Cent signee, Lil' Scrappy released "Bred 2 Die, Born 2 Live" in 2006 as his debut album. It found the Atlanta native blazing through into the game when all attention was put upon the Dirty South for Hip Hop, and especially when the Crunk sound of A-Town was dominant. He stood out from the crowd as one of few 'Crunk lyricists' and didn't just rely on catchy hook to his music as he had skills to back it all up.
1. "I'm Back" (Intro)
2. "Touching Everything"
Getting the album underway, this one has him on some Crunk beats from Jazzy Pha to show the general direction of this album and how he wants to go with it as the pounding 808 bass becomes prominent and excites it all as he works with the then-newcomer Yung Joc to get the album going with a banger.
3. "Young and Famous" (Lude)
4. "Money in the Bank"
This was perhaps the biggest single form the artist to come off the album and it sees him doing a very appealing one where he works with Young Buck to show that he is really able to do things well as he chooses to make the clubs the first destination where he wants to takeover with this album before he goes to the streets.
5. "Been a Boss"
Lil' Jon gets down and dirty with the grungy beats for this one, and it finds that he constructs one where you get him bringing in the general Crunk sound, but calming it to a degree in order to allow Lil' Scrappy to really do what he needs to do with his raps to allow them to fully manifest and not be clouded by the production.
6. "Gangsta, Gangsta"
This quite simply is the Crunkest track on the whole of the album, and along with Lil' Jon on production and for guidance on the hook, you have the artist performing what is a southern take on the classic N.W.A track, displaying the artists' early influences. It is a killer track, and one designed for the clubs as he shows that as 'The Prince of Crunk' he is able to do the Rap sub-genre justice.
7. "Posted In The Club"
Three 6 Mafia join him here for a Buck track in order to show that the Dirty South is completely united, and I felt as though it made for something hardcore which you just can't ignore as they rip through this one in a manner which reflects the fact that they are attempting to appeal to all in the south with a fusion of the A-Town sound and that of Memphis.
8. "Anutha Country Story" (Lude)
9. "Livin' in the Projects"
This was open of the singles to the record an d it stands out not only for this reason, but also for the use of a 2Pac sample, and so obviously it is bound to bring everyone's attention towards it as J.R> Rotem guides the music towards the direction which the artist sees as fitting to a recording which centres exclusively around Scrappy's younger years where he used to struggle to survive in the impoverish conditions he was made to withstand.
10. "Born To Live"
Lil' Jon does the beats here, and he really takes things to a familiar place here as with his subtle Rock injections on a pounding piece of production, he increases the tension of the music and has the rapper really put into the correct place in order to come across as genuine as he talks us through how disadvantaged his past was, and how detached his life is, in comparison to how it should be.
11. "P***y Poppin'"
Of course the artist needed a break from all the thought-provoking lyricism, and so for this one he chooses to just relax it all and get down to one where he just takes things to the clubs and shows that he is really able to make a lot out of the Crunk beats which you here from Bangladesh. It is a rough one, and has him displaying how his style is like no other from the city.
12. "Get Right"
This is a freaky little grooving track from the artist and it seems to change the flow of the record as you see that the direction is altered fairly significantly as he chooses to do a tune which doesn't particularly focus in on anything that specific. He works, most notably with Memphis' Yo Gotti here and it makes for a rather fly cut.
13. "Baby Daddy"
I felt that this was a very strong album from the album and it really stood out due the fact that the way he constructed it was to the best degree possible as he performs one which represents all the 'Baby Daddies', and has him tracking his own experiences in this filed in order to do it successfully. The Sha Money XL production is just what is required to get Scrap' into the mind-frame he needed to be in, and it made it come across well.
14. "The Situation" (Lude)
Lil' Jon's production in this one is hardcore, and it shows that he has a bit more complexity than what he often shows to his listeners as here he showcases his ability to convey much more complex things, such as in this case his capability to take to a subject which has Scrap taking on the policing system.
16. "Like Me"
Drumma Boy is behind the production here, and I felt that he was an appropriate choice to join him after working with the likes of Young Jeezy, Rick Ross and T.I., he shoed that he really knew what the southern scene was saying, and he delivered with the beats to this rather cold one from him where he talks about his drug dealing past.
G-Unit's first lady, Olivia joins him for this one, and I felt that it was a track on the album which took his work in a direction which was a little too forced as it doesn't really support expectations of the artists, and essential undermines a lot of the other tunes which you get on here as you find that 50 Cent takes over the album from this point onwards and does things in a manner which reflects his own work.
18. "N***a, What's Up"
Here you have more G-Unit influence on this one as this time it is actually 50 Cent who joins him on this one to aid him as he performs a trakc which has him ripping through the work in a hardcore manner while making his lifestyle the focus of the recording in order to carry the artist through and show how he can do things in a way which completely kills off what everyone else is capable of.
19. "Lord Have Mercy"
Bringing the album to a close, here you have a track from him which initially sounds to go into something pretty predictable, but I felt as though he was able to make it much more than you would expect from a final track on a debut album from a Rap artist, and rather than tracking his past and hoping for a better one, he goes about it in a manner which is much more appealing to the general listener. The hook has 50 Cent written all over it with something which takes directly from his delivery and style in the chorus.
This is a pretty strong album from Lil' Scrappy and it shows the potential he has in his work after displaying a great deal of diversity in this album,. I felt that 50 prevented him from fully exploring his real southern work, as he made him do things in a manner which is blatantly taken directly form his won recording, and it just doesn't sound natural for him, but on the whole it is a good one.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 I'm Back - Lil Scrappy
2 Touching Everything - Lil Scrappy, Yung Joc
3 Young and Famous - Lil Scrappy, Stay Fresh,
4 Money in the Bank [Remix] - Lil Scrappy, Young Buck
5 Been a Boss - Bohagon, Lil Scrappy, Young Dro
6 Gangsta, Gangsta - Lil Jon, Lil Scrappy
7 Posted in the Club - Lil Scrappy, , Three 6 Mafia
8 Anutha Country Story - Bohagon, Lil Scrappy, Playboy Tre,
9 Livin' in the Projects - Lil Scrappy
10 Born to Live - Lil Scrappy
11 P**** Poppin' - Lil Scrappy
12 Get Right - Lil' Chris, Lil' Chris, Lil Scrappy, , Yo Gotti
13 Baby Daddy - Lil Scrappy
14 Situation - Lil Scrappy, Nook
15 Police - Lil Scrappy
16 Like Me - Lil Scrappy
17 G-S*** - Lil Scrappy, , Olivia
18 N****, What's Up - 50 Cent, Lil Scrappy
19 Lord Have Mercy - Lil Scrappy