Mixtape Review: Master P, Famous Again

Master P may have reached his limit with this return to rap.

2star
Posted: 08/08/2013 10:17 AM EDT

When it comes to branding in hip hop, Master P knew no limit. As much credit as Jay Z gets for his business savvy, even he couldn't take artists like Silkk Tha Shocker and Skull Duggery and make them platinum.

Percy Miller, or simply P, also made himself one of the top names in rap with hit records like Ghetto Dope and The Last Don.

As the years went on, his music — like his signature "uggghhhhh" that Rick Ross has since made his own — became more of a novelty, while his crosstown rivals Cash Money Records continued to eat off of the table that P helped set.

On Famous Again, P looked to bring back that No Limit sound, but times have changed. On "Yea I'm Rich" Percy set the tone with a Young Bugatti produced track that sounded like it could have been from the good old days, while P himself took a cue from today's rappers, name-dropping his favorite brands.

"That's the new Roley you never seen before/I spent a hundred in the muthaf-----n' Louis store/And my b---h so bad, I call her misdemeanor/I'm in that new Ghost Phantom and she in a Beamer," he rapped.

He recruited Game to go back and forth remembering friends and family that passed away on "Heaven for a Gangsta" and then the "I'm Bout It" rapper took it back down to the N.O. with the classic southern sound on "I Need an Armored Truck."

The JB-produced hit "You Need to Know" gives the younger generation a manual on the ins and outs of the music game. If nothing else, every up-and-comer in entertainment should hear this track, which is like a tutorial with a hot beat, or as P himself says, "If you getting' money, this the s--t you need to know."

West coast favorite Problem recently resurrected the Youngbleed hit "How Ya Do Dat," which featured Master P, and made it his own on "Like Whaaat," so it was only fitting that P himself be featured on the remix which also included Wiz Khalifa and Chris Brown.

Those were all high notes, rounded out by "Don't Make Sense," which features a strong verse from Chief Keef, and the 1500 or Nothing-produced "Toast" and "Freedom."

But P comes up short in adapting it for today's climate. And coming in at around 80 minutes, that makes for a drawn out listen.

His name-drops seem forced (he mentions Louis Vuitton probably half-a-dozen times) and his braggadocio lacks originality on songs like "Last Year," "You Can't See What I'm On" and "Streets Keep Calling Me."

He's has always had the mind of a boss, but Famous Again seems to serve more as a sign of the times than a comeback. If he has proven anything, it's that you can never count Percy Miller out, but if he's going to try and get back in the game that built his empire, he needs to rebuild the bridge that he burnt down with Beats by the Pound.

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(photo: No Limit Forever Records)

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