Straight from the N.O.

No Limit/Universal Records

Choppa and Master P’s synthesizer need to go straight back to the N.O. Nothing in New Orleans since the Saints’ “Let’s-Miss-the-Playoffs” collapse has been as predictable and as bad as Straight from the N.O., a record that is exactly what one would expect from a Master P disciple. Straight is a nearly worthless album filled with indistinguishable songs, hackneyed beats, and puerile lyrics. The extent to which this record underwhelms is so great – and it would surely disappoint were expectations not already sufficiently lowered by past No Limit releases – that the task of cataloguing just how awesomely the record fails becomes almost impossible.

However, everything is possible (well, maybe not everything, because there appears no chance that Choppa is capable of producing a good record), and an appropriate place to begin exposing this release’s litany of flaws is at lead single “Choppa Style.” Simply, the song is a repackaged version of Master P’s ghetto cowboy anthem “Ooohhhwee,” and those familiar with the song can expect to find more of the same – lazily reworked versions of other No Limit songs – throughout Straight.

In fact, Choppa not only rehashes other people’s music, but he also copies his own “ideas” from track to track, lending his album a consistency of stupidity and a cohesion of unimagination that are perhaps two of its very few redeeming qualities. (Although, terming those characteristics “qualities” seems tenuous since the designation rests on ignominious distinctions.) The serial missteps are exemplified by Choppa’s employment of the call-and-response series on “Aaahhh (Oh Yeah)” in three different songs and his constant harping upon the same four topics – women, material wealth, New Orleans, and rapping. Choppa’s routine gets old quickly.

Straight also sounds like an anachronism because Choppa’s brand of hedonistic, bounce hip-hop seemingly jumped the shark four years ago, when Juvenile was still Cash Money’s lead soldier and Master P was still ruining Ricky Williams’ contracts. Since then, the New Orleans sound has been replaced by other fads. Declining record sales and diminishing interest forced producers like Cash Money’s Mannie Fresh to make music with newer sounds, yet that message did not permeate, apparently. Master P, the executive producer for Straight, and Choppa seem embarrassingly out of touch, and their music sounds tired and hopelessly derivative.

In imperialistic terms, it appears to be the Last Days of the Empire for No Limit.

Rating: 1 Star

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