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"Units in The City" came out early in 2008, and it was the debut solo album from Atlanta rapper, Shawty Lo, who initally found fame whilst part of the four-man Snap Music group, D4L. The album has him perform the Dirty South stlye of Hip Hop, a change to the more dance-based Snap Music debut with D4L, and he take a more Gangsta Rap approach to it whilst being motivated by an on-going beef witth the king of the south, T.I..
You really cannot get much worse with an opening track on an album as it gets the thing off to a terrible start with such poor quality material coming from the first thing which you hear in it. He starts off by talking of how $100,000 is nothing to him, and how he would spend it all in a day.
2. "Dey Know"
From one of the worst tracks ever to the big single off the album, you have him taking us straight into some familiar stuff to offer support to listens who may have been put off by the first one. This is a strange one as I can't really say it is that good, however the thing is very catchy, and forces you to rap along to each line.
This is the second in a string of consecutive singles from the artist. it has him doing things to the typical beats that had been heard throughout 2007 and 2008 in how you get a cluttered compostion of percussion and bass. It has him directly taking it to T.I., and dissing him for "claiming Bankhead".
4. "Dunn Dunn"
Again the same things can be said about this one as the thing isn't that good itslef, however you are forced to enjoy it with the catchy delivery of things and the way that the kind of sings the lines to the thing. He repeats lines from "Dey Know", which is clearly displaying a lack of creativity, but others will just see it as an acknowledgement towards his hit.
5. "Lets Get It"
Using his phrase "Git Git Git It" which T.I. went on to mock in several tracks, Shawty Lo forms a track around this all here. DJ Pooh's beats are just too good for the raps which accompany it all, and so you are unable to ignore it, but L-O spoils it with such low-quality lines, which don't really have much of a point.
6. "Feels Good to Be Here"
You have him chaging things up quie a bit for this one, however the choice to go for softer beats has to be a poor decision for him, as he must be aware of the fact that he far from capable of carrying out such a track. He doens't soudn sincere in any way for this one, so you are unale to believe anything that is sadi by him.
7. "Ain't Tellin' You"
He doens't quite get where he needs to be for this one, and so he falls slightly short of standing out with this tune on the album. Much of hat is said is repeted on this one, and he extends the chorus for so long so that he doesn't have to think up as much for the verses, this is even the case whilst working with Phace Baity (whoever he is).
8. "Cut The Check"
He seemgingly over-hypes his position in the world as he speaks that he's slightly above the rap world as he claims to be more of an an exec' than a rapper and does it all on some lively beats from Marquezzz. Despite being unknown in the game, Lil' Mark and Braski manage to kill this one off.
9. "GA Lotto"
On some up-lifting synthesizer work (which reminds me of T.I.'s work with David Banner on "Trap Muzik") you get the rapper likening his new-found fame to winning the Geaorgia Loot, and explaining how the feeling actually is once you have overcome the struggle towards financial stability.
10. "That's Shawty Lo"
I saw this one as the best on the album, but I doubt that it would be as popular had he not started his carrer in the Snap Music style, as this is the style of this one as he raps to a very clean beat to the backign of children, who sing as part of the chorus. He producer to it is the one responsible for their hits as D4L with "Laffy Taffy" and "Betcha Can't Do it Like Me".
11. "Easily I Approach"
The beat drops for this one in order to put more attention on the rapper as he lays down his bars, however I felt that there was very littel to offer from them as he simpl big himself up as a dopeboy, and how everyone used to come to him for their hits, and he uses this o his advantage in order to state quanities and rap about how much it would cost.
12. "Live My Life"
In knowledge of the fact that this one came out months earlier than it, I assume that the title to this one as jacked by T.I. as a diss, and having it materialise as the biggest single of his career must just top it all off. However in this one L-O's terrible rhymes cannot be saved by stong beats, as he takes it to the piano, and is left exposed with dire lines about his struggle.
13. "Got 'Em 4 the Lo"
Stuntman of D4L and Gucci Mane come to work with him, and when it comes to lyrical ability, Gucci is one the same level as L-O as he simply cannot do it, and I haven't got a clue how he managed to make it as he did (especially without any dance tracks or support from a group). This one has simialr beats to him Snap days, but are a little stripped-down.
14. "Count on Me"
As this one opens up, you know that this one isn't gogin to go the right way as it starts to very gentle production, and it contrasts so greatly from what he is known to do. The female guest R&B singers vocals are rather weak, and it sets up a poor starter for a track which has him just say all the lines he has throughout the album.
15. "We Gon Ride"
To ends things off you get the Bankhead, Atlanta rapper performing alongside a host of different guests. The arent particularly strong at this. However they add great levels of variation to this one as he gest all of D4L (execpt Fabo) together, and a couple of others from the area.
I am quite disappointed in myself for liking a sizeable portion of this album, as I'm aware of how low-quality the majortiy of the thing is, and so I would recommend this to anyone as it really is some of the most poorly-wrttien Hip Hop I've heard. The only reason why I was enegagedby it in places is with the top-quality production from the likes of DJ Montay, Sunny Beatz, and DJ Pooh.
The way that he raps is so poor as he takes influence from things such as nursery rhymes in terms of how he constrcuts it, and also he uses rhyming couplets for pretty much the whole thing. The monotony of him repeating lines ending in 'o' is enough to put anyone off by the end of the first track (nevermind having it throughout the whole album). He even forces half-rhymes at times or modifying words to fit this pattern (such as saying "a cappelo" or "hollo" for 'a cappela' and 'holla' respectively), but when doing this so often, it completely takes away form his lyrical abilities.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 They Know (Dey Know)
3 Dunn, Dunn
5 Let's Get It - Lil Yola, Shawty Lo,
6 Feels Good to Be Here
7 Ain't Tellin' You - Phace Baity, Shawty Lo
8 Cut the Check - DJ Braski, Lil Mark, Shawty Lo
9 GA Lotto
10 That's Shawty Lo
11 Easily I Approach
12 Live My Life - Kool Ace, Shawty Lo
13 Got Em 4 the Lo - Gucci Mane, Shawty Lo, , Stuntman
14 Count on Me - DJ Miss T, Shawty Lo
15 We Gon Ride - 40, G-Child, Lil Mark, Mook B, Shawty Lo, , Stuntman