Mac – Shell Shocked

Mac - Shell ShockedIf you were a fan of hip hop during the 90’s chances are you we’re bumping almost anything Master P put his platinum touch on. While a lot of fans condemned them for biting and over saturation, no one can deny that No Limit Records put forth one of the greatest runs in hip hop history. In the midst of their 22 albums released in 1998, most were unfortunatley overlooked. One of these included the solo debut of the talented MC – Mac, formerly of the Psychoward click. This was released in June 1998.

 

1.) Boss Chick feat. Mia X: Released as the first single (complete with video), this is more out of Mac’s comfort zone. The beat is typical Beats By The Pound, and features Mac rapping about his “boss *****”, which in this case is “Unlady Like” diva – Mia X. Decent song at best, and only features one verse from each rapper.

2.) Be All You Can Be feat. Fiend, Silkk The Shocker: The first great song on the album features fellow No Limit soldiers – Fiend and Silkk The Shocker. Fiend starts the track off with an amazing hook, and commendable verse. Mac jumps on the second verse, describing his struggles and curiosity as to why the streets are the way the way they are. Silkk drags the track down slightly, with his offbeat flow. Great song, however.

3.) Soldier Party feat. Master P: Both artists underachieve extremely on this track. The beat is nothing exceptional, but the hook is abysmal, and Master P’s constant “Unnngghhh’s” grow old after the first minute of the song. Mac comes through with a decent first verse, but it unfortunatley doesn’t make the song any better.

4.) Murda, Murda, Kill, Kill feat. Mystikal: Although this song only clocks in at 2:25, this is a “soldier” song all the way through. Mac sets off the army influenced instrumental, with memorable lyrics “If I die in battle, tell my folks I was no joke when I blasted/Wrap me up in camoulflage and put that tank on my casket.” Then Mystikal comes through and completely WRECKS the beat. His quick punchlines and impecable flow easily make for one of the best records on the entire album. Definatley recommended.

5.) Tank Dogs feat. C-Murder, Fiend: Anybody that remembers No Limit remembers their constant advertising for upcoming albums. One of those albums at the time was the group debut of the “Tank Doggs”, which featured C-Murder a.k.a. “50 Dollaz”, Fiend a.k.a. “Sleepy Eyed Jones”, and Mac a.k.a. “The Camoulflaged Assassin.” This song features a pounding drum and bass loop. Great song featuring three of No Limit’s finest MC’s.

6.) Slow Ya Roll: Mac’s first solo song is a hip hop classic. Over a very solumn instrumental, Mac details the come up of a young nigga trying to make noise in the game of life. His storytelling ability really shines as this 4 minute track showcases why Mac deserves to be mentioned with the greats. Classic track in every aspect.

7.) We Don’t Love ‘Em: A very plain beat is provided by Beats By The Pound, as Mac tries (and fails) to explain why none of his soldiers “love them hoes.” At just over 3 minutes long, the hook sounds unusually awkward, and Mac is cut off during his third verse. Average song at best.

8.) Wooo feat. Kane & Abel, Mr. Serv-On, Big Ed, Snoop Dogg, Mia X: A pounding beat is served up for Mac and the No Limit family to get busy to. Starting off with a hard hitting verse (“No Limit black sheep, played the backseat for months/Stayed away from the tangueray, *****es, and blunts”), Mac’s flawless verse is followed by Kane & Abel, who do decent at best. Mr. Serv-On’s fast paced flow suits the beat well, while Snoop is still obviously trying to get comfortable over southern production. Great song none the less, and definatley recommended to the average No Limit fan.

9.) Can I Ball feat. Soulja Slim: A true gem on this classic album, this track features deceased New Orleans legend – Soulja Slim, just after the release of his national debut and incarceration. Mac and Slim trade verses on coming up in the game, and balling while sporting diamonds. Slim’s verse is flawless, as is Mac’s making for an all around classic song.

10.) Money Gets feat. Master P: A dissapointing track, in comparison to the two songs before it. This is nothing more then the same old “keep yo eyes on yo enemiessssss” track, with Master P’s monotonous flow becoming a little too repetitive. Not even Mac can save this song, with his above average verse over the subpar beat.

11.) The Game: A lyrical exercise of some sorts, Mac rocks this KLC produced track with memorable lines (“I’ll transform into Liu Kang and finish ya”), as he roams through the beat with three classic verses. Great song, up and down, although it’s only 3 minutes long.

12.) Callin Me: Unlike “Boss Chick”, this song showcases Mac’s ability to spit game the proper way. Over a soothing instrumental courtesy of Mo B. Dick, Mac explains how the ***** keeps callin him, although he needs to be spending his time in the studio or on the set. One of the better tracks on the album, and out of No Limit’s usual “gangsta” depiction.

13.) Memories feat. C-Murder: This song features two of No Limit’s better artists going back and forth over a pounding piano about their memories growing up in the game. C-Murder’s prescense on the beat alone makes his verse noteworthy, but Mac steals the show by far with a classic verse. Great song, proving that Mac and C-Murder were a deadly combination on the mic.

14.) Meet Me At The Hotel feat. Mr. Serv-On, Magic, Mia X: A more uptempo version of “Callin Me” this song features Mac running game once again. This time Mr. Serv-On, Magic, and Mia X appear for forgettable guest spots. Although this song is good, it’d be better suited for Mac; and Mac alone.

15.) Shell Shocked feat. Fiend: At first listen, the beat will bore you. It’s another unrecognizable BBTP instrumental. However, the Tank Dogg combination on the track is undeniable. At just under 3 minutes, Mac and Fiend deliver very hard verses, making the title track slightly better then most would’ve thought. Good song.

16.) Paranoid feat. Silkk The Shocker: There are two reasons that this song is one of the best on the album. First off, it’s another one of Mac’s storytelling songs, and a very good one at that (Mac, while engaging in gunfire, accidentally shoots his brother). Secondly, while this song says it features Silkk The Shocker, he is only on the hook, giving Mac the time he needs to shine, and get his point across. The chorus lacks unbelievably, but this track is recommended for Mac’s verses and delivery alone.

17.) Nobody Make A Sound feat. 2-4-1, Magic, Fiend: Quite possibly the worst track on a near flawless album. While 5 MC’s are listed to appear on the track, the song is only 2:33 long. 2-4-1 (who thankfully never released an album) are awful, and Mac dissapoints with this subpar verse. Fiend and Magic don’t do much better, making for a terrible song.

18.) Beef: This is another one of Mac’s solo storytelling songs. While he’s depicted young thugs coming up in the game, and the war in the streets, this one is strictly about beef. Here, Mac describes a day at the mall when somebody steps to him. An outstanding hook, backed with an entertaing and upbeat instrumental, make for a track easily up there with the best.

19.) Camoulflage Love feat. Storm: Featuring Mac’s “Psychoward” comrade – Storm, this is a fairly short song, about each other’s urge to *****. “I enter your body just like a shotti/I keep your heart pumpin and thumpin, that Lodi Dodi” just about sums it up. Decent track at best, but won’t stand out, and only features one verse from Mac.

20.) Empire: Another solo song from Mac, features what sounds like 32 bars from No Limit’s premiere lyricist. More of a battle track in some sorts, Mac sends a warning shot to anybody *****ing with the Tank. “So the next nigga talkin ’bout we country and weak…/I hope his mama catch cancer and die in her sleep” ends the track about as aggressivley as possible. Great, great song.

21.) My Brother: The deepest track on the album by far, features Mac ending the album in the best way possible. Telling another story. This one is about his brother. Mac cleverly details that although they’ve had their differences, they’re still thug brothers and praises him while he’s alive, rather then wait ’til he’s dead and gone. All this is done over a smooth, captivating beat. Great song, and my personal favorite on the album.

22.) Shell Shocked (Outro): An acapella chant from Mac in true soldier fashion. Nothing more, nothing less.

After listening to the majority of the tracks, one comes to understand that the game has really lost one of it’s finest lyricists and story tellers. Painting vivid visions of the game, the struggle, and the luxuries, Mac was easily the best artist (in the truest sense of the word) No Limit has ever seen. My advice: Go out and buy this album, pick up “World War III” (which is surprisingly better and more introspective then this album), and pray for Mac.

Overall Rating: 5/5

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