Many rap crews are formed but very few are poised to be shaped into dynasties. 2009 will undoubtedly go down as the year of Young Money as Lil’ Wayne rode his popularity wave in from 2008, while staff sergeants Drake and Nicki Minaj shone bright on their own reconnaissance. The next step could be foreseen by the blindfolded: the Cash Money junioraires assemble to release an average compilation to capitalize on their current omnipresence. We Are Young Money, a platform to launch the careers of lesser known acts such as T-Streets, Lil’ Chuckee & Twist, doesn’t quite meet its goal with musical significance that’s less than stellar. Not to mention all of the album’s content is more shallow than a Kardashian.
So how does a stable of rappers with more punchlines than The Laugh Factory and access to some of the most big named producers manage to create such a nondescript project? The secret is in the congruity of the song creation. Typically lacking any sort of predetermined concept (aside from the obvious i.e. “New Shit”), the YM cadre routinely churns out forgettable eight-bar verses from song to song throughout the duration of the LP. The format works slightly well for the lead single “Bedrock” as crew members such as Gudda Gudda and Jae Millz attempt to make a household name for themselves over perky production and a playful chorus layed by crooner Lloyd. Not so much for the congested “Streets Is Watchin’” and “Finale” which are essentially mixtape stuffing.
Cali transplant Tyga for the most part, shows up as a non-factor. Same came be said for T-Streets who gets lost in the shuffle on the bloated posse cuts and Short Dawg, who only pops up once for his positive addition to “Pass The Dutch.” The aforementioned Lil’ Chuckee & Twist oddly enough get their own spotlight on “Girl I Got You.” The track, which lazily samples Janet Jackson’s “Escapade,” is nothing short of terrible.
Thankfully for Lil’ Wayne fans, their marquee man doesn’t leave them high & dry with plenty of kill time for the side shows. There is plenty of rock n’ rollin’ Rebirth on “Play In My Band” as Weezy meshes heavy metal with heavy metaphors. The other grimy standout “Steady Mobbin’” features not a fellow Young Money spender, but the heavily fashionable feature in Gucci Mane for an entertaining duet. Wayne’s dedication to his own fleet is a welcomed one especially with co-captains Drake and Nicki Minaj opting to play the background on their sporadic contributions as evidenced on “Fuck The Bulls.”
Ultimately, it’s the outstanding ode-to-promiscuity “Every Girl” that saves We Are Young Money from being lost completely in the bottomless pit of clique releases. Lil’ Wayne and his band of moolah misfits may have the top billing at the moment, but they seem more comfortable with posing at the show rather than shutting it down.