- No Better Than This | Review By:
Thou shalt not lie, and neither shall
record sales: Tupac’s post-mortem platinum status shows that consumers rank
him the Number Two Most Anticipated Comeback From the Grave, in case he gonna
fulfill his prophecy – “hard to kill a nigga cuz I’m comin’ back like Jesus”.
When he duz, don’t call it a comeback – he been here for years. Not
physically, but his essence is steady kept on life support thru R&B singers
thuggin’ it up and certain MCs fixin’ plates off the legacy. Fact is,
everything feels like déjà vu these days.
It’s never stronger than in the case of Won G the Haiti Boy (not Juan G “tha
Mexican Warren G” like I first thought) fronting in both red and blue rags in
publicity flicks rocking muscle shirts to show off tats and sex appeal.
Straight into his third album No Better Than This it’s Cristal-clear what
crowd Won G is aiming at, and what he’s shootin’ with. He resurrects both the
beat and subject of DJ Quik’s “Tha Divorce Song” for the single “Nothing’s
Wrong”, to put his own talk-show spin on relationship blues. Once snuggled up
in his core material, he sleeps up in it, one way or another: he writes a
broad dedication to whoeva wanna sniffle on “I Miss You”, and macks
relentlessly -- to Da Brat on “Put It Inside”, and even to the
three-fourths-of-cloth crowd on “Habibi”. Watch out for Haiti bitches, I heard
they throw hex.
Worldwide mob figga? Worldwide broad digga. Like any true ‘Pac imposter, Won G
ain’t satisfied just draggin’ to the skirts; he gotta test-drive his own
gangsta, and get ridahs like Layzie Bone and Yukmouth to co-pilot. But I ain’t
convinced, and when he claims “Street Life” I had to laugh – you mean “sheet
life”, homie. Tell me what that in-between look like.
It’s nutty how Won G’s made history his-story. Witness “I Love TNO”, an anthem
dedicated to his label, and the numerous shout-outs throughout the album to
his boss, TNO’s CEO Mr. Teodoro Nguema Obiang, who must be the Suge Knight of
Equatorial Guinea. Is that former Death Row songstress Jewell on the hook?
Pleezbaleevit. It gets deeper than that: Outlawz Napolean and EDI guest on the
LP’s best moments, over beats by Won G’s bro Double-M that do Johnny J dyno-mite.
The Outlawz sound true’n livin’ on “This Is Your Life Kid” and the opening cut
“Every Man Has A Woman”, which got that warm “Happy Home” fuzzy feeling.
Skirting around Won G’s mush mouth, the Outlawz take shit down memory lane.
But even enjoying the ride, I can’t help but think how good ‘Pac would sound
on these songs.
If there wuz any justice, Won G would botch a flow in his native Haitian
patois, fuck around and raise a zombie ‘Pac from the grave. Zombie ‘Pac
wouldn’t see about Won G right away cuz first Ja Rule gosta really feel “so
much pain.” Shit, I bet even Jimmy Bones would be down to ride – 2 of
Afterlife’s Most Wanted reunited. And when they finished with that, I think
they’d catch Haiti Boy on the next episode. Sometimes they come back