By late 1997, in a post-Tupac rap climate where fans were fiending for anything Makaveli related, No Limit Records had stepped in to fill that void. From “the don” image Master P perfected, to many of No Limit’s artists sounding like ‘Pac, No Limit put the south on the map with it’s funky basslines combined with hard hitting cliche gangsta rap. C-Murder was no exception. The younger brother of Master P, released his debut album “Life Or Death” in March 1998, at the peak of No Limit’s popularity.
1.) Intro: A short instrumental is being played for a little less then a minute total. Skip it.
2.) A 2nd Chance feat. Master P, Silkk The Shocker: Over a very simple Beats By The Pound production, the 3 brothers trade verses on getting a second chance at life. This was the first, and only single, released for the album. Although the song’s content is decent, both P and C have a notable ‘Pac similarity in their styles.
3.) Akickdoe! feat. Pimp C, Bun B, Master P: Perfect southern song. Almost 10 years after it’s release, any fan of dirty south music, will still have this song in rotation. Master P’s adlibs drag the track down slightly, but Pimp C provides a memorable hook, and everyone comes correct. Great song.
4.) Constantly ‘N Danger feat. Mia X: Decent song, over another simple BBTP production. Mia X’s feature isn’t very memorable, but C provides two noteworthy verses, although the track is short. Decent at best.
5.) Don’t Play No Games feat. Mystikal, Silkk The Shocker: Great song from beginning to end. C-Murder kicks it off with a hard hitting verse, and Mystikal follows it up with his unpredictable New Orleans flavor. Silkk closes it out with the energy he provided throughout most of 1998, that has since dissapeared. Overall, a classic track.
6.) Show Me Luv feat. Mac, Mr. Serv-On: C chooses to go a different route with this track, as he details (with the help of New Orleans legend – Mac, and former NL Soldier – Mr. Serv-On) his experiences at shows, concerts, and across the country. A very smooth bassline is provided courtesy of BBTP, making for a very relaxing, good track.
7.) Picture Me feat. Magic: Anybody that has heard Magic lately, or even in the past 5 years will be surprised at what he used to sound like. Appearing as the first artist signed to C’s “TRU Records” imprint, Magic trades verses with his CEO over a very steady instrumental. The only downfall is the fact he tries too hard to sound like 2Pac, and lacks any originality. C-Murder comes decent. Average track.
8.) On The Run feat. Soulja Slim, Da Hound: Very upbeat, energetic track about runnin from the police. Soulja Slim’s verse is solid, as is C’s verse and chorus. Da Hound, however, is a complete waste on the mic. Great track, just skip the end of the song.
9.) Get N Paid feat. Silkk The Shocker: 9 songs into the album and C-Murder still hasn’t had a solo track. This song, is no different, and features Silkk and C exchanging a verse each, over a funky bassline. Very short song however, which ends up dragging it down.
10.) Only The Strong Survive feat. Master P: NL’s head Colonel in charge appears on this very short song. C-Murder starts off the track with a very energetic verse about getting paid and surviving in this game, and Master P follows it up with a monotonous verse very reminiscent of Tupac in his prime. Good song none the less, as production is top notch.
11.) TRUest Shit I Ever Said: After 10 songs, C-Murder finally is allowed time to shine on his own. And although the song is only 2 1/2 minutes at best, C takes a break from uptempo gangsta to mellow. Great, great, laidback track.
12.) Makin Moves feat. Master P, Mo B. Dick: Overall, not a very good track. While Mo B. Dick croons the hook in a way only he could do, and the piano keys hit hard, this song is another short song that lacks any substance or believeable raps. Master P really needs to let C just shine on his own.
13.) Feel My Pain: The album clearly starts to pick up here, as C-Murder crafts 2 memorable verses, and an impecable hook, over a very solumn instrumental. Deep track. Definatley recommended.
14.) Soldiers feat. Silkk The Shocker, Fiend, Big Ed, Mac, Kane & Abel, Master P, Mia X, Mystikal: One of No Limit’s trademarks is their ‘soldier’ songs. This is basically taking No Limit’s finest, and throwing them all on one song to represent that “soulja shit.” This song is above the average soldier song however, as the beat pounds all the way through. Good anthem.
15.) Cluckers feat. Fiend: A remake of Ice T’s “Colors”, this song is about settin up shop and selling the goods. While the beat hasn’t really changed from the original, C-Murder lazily flows, and serves up two below average verses. Fiend does the hook, but this track is a dissapointment, as he sounds unusually out of place.
16.) Life Or Death: The title track is C-Murder’s third solo track, and does not dissapoint. Although the topics have been discussed many times before, this is a deep, introspective song, that C flows very, very well over. Great track, and definatley up there, in comparison, with any other song on the album.
17.) Where I’m From feat. Prime Suspects: If you haven’t previously heard this track, and are a fan of C-Murder, I don’t know where you’ve been. Over a clever piano loop, C-Murder describes his experiences in the Calliope, as the Prime Suspects come through to lace their first guest appearence on the album. Classic track in every aspect.
18.) G’s & Macks feat. Soulja Slim, Silkk The Shocker: Looking at the features on this song, you think it’d be better then it actually is. While C-Murder and Soulja Slim collaborations hardly ever go wrong, the beat drags down the entire track. This combined with Silkk’s offbeat repetitive flow make for a somewhat boring track.
19.) Commercial feat. QB: This “song” is only a minute long and features new No Limit soldier at the time – QB. He drops 16 average bars, but C-Murder obviously thinks he’s better then he really is, and finishes the cut by telling P to “sign that nigga and bring the weed”. Decent song none the less.
20.) Riders: Much like “G’s & Macks”, this song is lacking something. The production is not on par, and C comes across as lazy throughout this short song. Not really recommended.
21.) Watch Yo Enemies feat. Magic: TRU Records artist Magic shows up and brings his 2Pac biting to another level. While the beat is solid, and C-Murder delivers, in my opinion, a classic verse, Magic only comes across as fake, making for a decent track.
22.) Duck & Run feat. Fiend: Great, great song. Although only 2 1/2 minutes in length, KLC (of BBTP) serves C-Murder with a beat that contains gunshots for the high hat, and snares. C comes suprisingly energetic on this song, and gives the beat the energy nobody else on the tank could carry. Fiend compliments the chorus nicely, and the track ends with an explosion.
23.) Ghetto Ties feat. Soulja Slim, Da Hound: Easily the best song on the entire album, C-Murder perfectly describes his ties to the game, although he’s made it out the hood. Soulja Slim offers the best feature on the entire album with his impecable flow and memorable verse. The beat is very laidback, and paints the perfect theme for the song’s concept. The only downfall is Da Hound (Full Blooded), who once again shows that he never deserved to be taken seriously on the mic, as he clumsily mutters his whole verse.
24.) Survival Of The Fittest feat. Gotti: Not one to discriminate, as the album winds down, C-Murder lets several of the lesser known No Limit Army appear on tracks. This is no different, as Gotti from the Gambino Family exchanges verses with No Limit’s finest. The two go back and forth over a slow pounding instrumental, making for a suprisingly great track. Definatley recommended.
25.) Dreams feat. Big Ed: Although this song is only a minute long, the beat provided by KLC is much like “Where I’m From”, with the excessive piano loops. C spits a hot 16, with a memorable hook to close out the album (“I wish that life was a dream, cause sometimes I wake up and just want to scream”). Great way to end the album.
26.) Outro: Same instrumental used in the intro, just a little bit longer.
So, at the height of No Limit’s popularity, did C-Murder serve up a classic album? Not exactly. However, this album solidified the least known Miller brother, and put him directly into the spotlight. And although the topics and concept of the album, has been done over and over again, C-Murder puts his own New Orleans twist on it, and gives the world one of the best No Limit albums of 1998.
Overall Rating: 4/5