Before Master P’s No Limit empire blew up in the late 90’s and officially put New Orleans on the map, people seem to forget he spent his early career in the Bay Area (more specifically Richmond, CA). After making a slew of guest appearences on P’s solo albums (and three albums as a member of TRU), the youngest Miller brother, Silkk The Shocker released his debut album in August of ’96. This album features appearences from the entire No Limit roster, and production from Beats By The Pound.
1.) Murder feat. Master P, Big Ed: Over a pounding instrumental, that starts off with a volt of shock, Silkk’s rowdy style comes into play. Master P croons the hook in his signature Ice Cream Man tone, as Big Ed (R.I.P.) provides a noteworthy guest appearence. Murder is obviously the main theme, as Silkk details the many ways he likes to see it done. Good track.
2.) I Ain’t Takin No Shorts feat. Master P: This track has a funky Bay Area feel, and is very reminiscent of TRU’s “Mobbin Thru Da Hood.” Silkk’s lyrics and rowdy offtempo flow actually work the production well, as Master P provides adlibs for his younger brother. Although the hook isn’t anything special, Silkk provides another above average song.
3.) I Represent: One of my personal favorites on the album, this track features Silkk representing for his hometown of the Calliope Projects. Production is g-funk at it’s finest, as Silkk croons the thick southern instrumental with more tales of murder and crime. Great track, and definately one of the best on the album.
4.) The Shocker feat. Master P: This track was featured as the album’s lead single and was followed by a video soon after. The song itself however is a No Limit classic. Silkk even goes as far as to compare his knowledge on the dope game to learning his ABC’s. Master P follows with a subpar verse, but this is clearly Silkk’s song. Good track.
5.) No Limit Party feat. Master P, Mia X: Before Soulja Slim’s “NL Party”, three of the tank’s original members let haters know they’re ‘aint no party like a No Limit party.’ Unfortunately this song is filled with tired chanting and below average verses. You’ve heard the same Master P verse before, as the only highlight is Silkk’s verse (which is surprisingly spit over 2Pac’s “Ambitionz Az A Ridah”), which is still only a portion of this mess of a track.
6.) Free Loaders feat. Mo B. Dick: Over more funkdified loops, No Limit’s resident singer – Mo B. Dick provides a smooth hook, as Silkk lets loose on these free loading hoes. Although lyrics are again a bit simple, Silkk finds a way to make the track enjoyable, and different from the average No Limit formula.
7.) 1 Mornin: This song clocks in at only 1:30, and production is unfortunately the only thing worth listening to. Silkk’s verse is noticabely offbeat, and the hook is terrible. Skip.
8.) How We Mobb feat. Master P: After listening to the first 8 tracks of this album, it’s apparent this album was still geared to the West Coast market. Master P provides the song with more tales of slangin ice cream, over what sounds like a sequel to “Mobbin Thru Da Hood.” Silkk’s verse isn’t anything special, but production and a great hook make for a good song.
9.) It’s On: After more threats, Silkk displays his lyricism with some suprisingly good punchlines (“…I done took more cash from niggas, than gold diggers”), with consistent production to back him up. Good track.
10.) Ain’t Nothing: Although this track features smooth and mellow production, Silkk’s verse and offtempo delivery make this track about hoes a miss. The hook is bland, and it feels like a song that’s been done over and over again. Skip it.
11.) Ghetto Tears feat. Master P: This song features a more instrospective side of Silkk The Shocker. Much like Master P’s “Ghetto Heroes”, Silkk details the bad side of the dope game. Growing up poor obviously had an effect on the Miller brothers, and it’s displayed on this track, with Silkk questioning how children are mistreated and abused. Production is equally as fitting, making for one of the album’s deeper songs.
12.) Mr. feat. Master P: Silkk debuts his alias (an alias he used in his later years on No Limit) over this hard hitting track. Call him what the ***** you want, just make sure “Mr.’s” in front. Good track.
13.) It’s Time To Ride feat. Master P: Production is really a factor in the making of this song. Silkk’s generic-as-ever hook, combined with Master P’s recycled themes end up dragging it down in the long run, but it’s more evident than ever that KLC and Beats By The Pound’s smooth production carry this lackluster effort.
14.) If My 9 Could Talk: Much like “Murder” or “It’s On”, this track contains more of a hardcore theme, which surprisingly works very well for Silkk. Considering his lyricism wasn’t anything exceptional to begin with, this track showcases more of Silkk’s delivery; which is what makes the song as good as it is. The beat occasionally drops, adding to the anticipation of the next verse. Good song.
15.) Commercial One feat. Skull Duggery: Although billed as a commercial, this song is in no way a skit. Master P sets off the minute long teaser by introducing one of the newest soldiers signed to the tank – Skull Duggery. Over dark production, courtesy of Beats By The Pound, Skull shows love to his hoodlums across New Orleans. A longer runtime is the only thing that could’ve made this track better.
16.) Got Em Fiending feat. Master P, Big Ed: This song starts off with a sing-a-long chorus provided by Master P, and quickly turns into what sounds like house music. While the hook lacks, Silkk’s verse is on par and actually suits the beat well. Big Ed is also featured on this track and provides his signature ‘assassin’ sound, and Bay Area style. Decent song.
17.) My Car feat. Mo B. Dick, Pure Passion: Mo B. Dick makes another appearence on the album over this relaxing beat. While Silkk obviously remains the premier artist, it’s Mo B. Dick’s smooth melodies (backed up by Pure Passion) that makes this track worth listening to. Although the theme is different, it works the track well, making for another above average effort.
18.) Ghetto 211 feat. Master P: While it seems this album has it’s weak moments, Silkk continuously turns out unapologetic gangsta music. Over another funk driven sample, Silkk’s slightly offbeat flow croon the production well, while Master P provides another generic hook. It’s almost guarenteed that you’ve heard these rhymes on his previous efforts (especially considering his album, “The Ice Cream Man”, dropped in April of the same year). Average song at best.
19.) Why My Homie feat. C-Murder, Master P: After an entire album without a TRU feature, the three Miller boys finally show up for one of their first dedications to the deceased. Undoubtedly the best song on the album, this track features smooth jazz melodies, TRU delivers three exceptional verses dedicated to their brother – Kevin Miller. While Silkk and Master P provide noteworthy appearences, C-Murder clearly steals the show with his polished flow and delivery. Great way to end the album.
So, in conclusion, it isn’t Silkk’s skill as an MC that make this album worth listening to, but rather his ability to make good songs over even better production. After relocating to New Orleans in 1997 to further expand his No Limit empire, Master P manages to churn out No Limit’s last great Bay Area release in the form of Silkk The Shocker’s debut album. Unfortunately this release remains overlooked in not only No Limit’s catelogue, but Silkk’s catelogue as well, when it’s actually one of the better releases the tank had to offer.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5