September 14, 2000

Test Spins

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Mack 10 knows his audience, and knows exactly what they want to hear on an album. One third of the Westside Connection, he has made a career out of flashing his W’s and making straight gangsta music.

While not as poetic as Nas, or as witty as Eminem, Mack 10 has always been a consistently powerful MC. And this hasn’t changed on The Paper Route, which features such no-nonsense bangers as “From Tha Streetz.”

But not everything on the album is status quo. Instead, Mack 10 moves into unchartered waters on collaborations with Timbaland (“Nobody”), and new wife T-Boz of TLC (“Tight To Def”).

Unfortunately, while the album is consistent, it’s also nothing particularly original. There is nothing here that hasn’t been heard countless times before.

Well almost nothing. What’s lacking from music is all over the album’s two skits. While there’s nothing new about featuring little children on an album skit, the singing of “Mack 10 is the muthafuckin’ G” to the tune of “Rudolph” has definitely never been done before.

The Paper Route shows why Mack 10 is best known for his group work with Warren G and Westside Connection. His flow can tear up a verse at at a time, but over the course of an album, it loses some of its luster.

Archived article by Mike Giusto