Respect the OGs.
On the surface, the validity in this statement rings true, and if more people practiced what it preached, the world would be a lot better off.
Percy Miller, better known as Master P, is an OG. An icon in Hip-Hop, actually. No Limit Records is an institution and The Tank has come to symbolize P and the area responsible for birthing them. Yet, P and The Tank’s glory days have long since expired. The clamor for new music from Percy hasn’t reached higher than a hummingbird’s buzz, which is why I hesitated before actually clicking play on his new album The Gift.
What exactly was P going to reveal on the new album we haven’t come to know? That his legend as a hustler is nearly second-to-none? That The Tank was deserving of recognition some 17 years after Ghetto D? That C-Murder was coming home soon?
1. We already knew that.
3. Hell no.
The Gift wins the award for Biggest Oxymoron of 2013. In fact, the only lesson we do learn on the 18-track torture chamber is P really, really, really despises 360 deals. Never confused for the world’s most immaculate lyricist even in his prime, Percy’s dedication to not rapping on beat showers the majority of the project, starting with the intro, “Spotlight.”
Uncomfortable moments prove to be the norm, yet the Jeremih-featured “You’re The One” is so depressingly comical that finishing P’s lyrics before he says them becomes sort of a contest better served for drinking games. “Ghost,” the father/son track with Romeo, finds P rhyming, “Street niggas, I’m ya antidote/ Fuck bad bitches, eat a lot of cantaloupe/ Country boy with my Raybans/ Tell them mothafuckas in my ear go ‘bang bang…’”
Guest features from heavy hitters like Rick Ross, Yo Gotti, The Game and Nipsey Hussle fail to provide redeemable moments on a LP that appeared hellbent on providing none. That isn’t to say there aren’t any, though. “Holding Back The Years” was at least given some thought before Percy stepped into the recording both, and ditto for “Woke Up A Millionaire.” “You Need To Know” is the “breath-of-fresh-air” moment on The Gift where P lays down game to any artist attempting to find a career in an industry famous for eating its own more often than it produces success stories.
But by the end of the LP, one thing is painfully clear: rap has passed Master P by. True, he could probably still get by as a consultant or executive, but the actual craft of rhyming isn’t Percy’s forte anymore.
Still, respect the OG’s. And I will… Assuming I nor anyone else has to revisit The Gift any time soon, if ever.