“That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” First written over 400 years ago in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” pop culture has adopted and revised the phrase multiple times but the meaning and intent has remained the same. You can call an apple an orange all you like, but take a bite out of it and it’s still an apple; in other words, what you call something is not as important as what it is. By extension Young Gotti can call himself Young Gotti all he likes, but open the CD for “Same Day, Different Shit” and take a whiff and you’ll smell some familiar Dogg Chit. It’s still the same Kurupt who came from Philadelphia, P-A to Hawthorne, C-A and ended up “Stranded on Death Row” figuratively and literally. As a member of Tha Dogg Pound with Daz, commercial success came in the form of albums like “Dogg Food” and “Dillinger & Young Gotti.” Solo albums have been more of a mixed bag, ranging from the tolerably interesting to the downright awful.

Consistancy has always been Kurupt Young Gotti’s biggest problem – flashes of brilliance end up drowning in an unacceptable lyrical and musical mediocrity which ought to be beneath him but somehow never are. That’s one reason it’s not hard to recognize the smell of Kurupt on “Same Day, Different Shit,” particularly on tracks like “Ryde & Roll.” There’s no reason for Young Gotti to not realize when he’s penning lyrics that are self-referential and vapid, which means he’s either doing it on purpose or just not giving a fuck about it, and in either case it’s entirely unacceptable. Peep out the manuscript:

“Me – I’m just Kurupt muh’fucker
Squab when it’s time to squad, what muh’fucker
You tryin to put a hole through my adamantium
You tryin to shoot my momma, my sister, my Auntie Em
You tryin to shoot my Dorothy nigga when we rollin
You tryin to shoot the G-ride we just stole homie
Niggaz try to play like it don’t affect them
But in the end, you got a torture spectrum
They tryin to do you like Hannibal Lecter
I spit lectures like Hannibal Lecter
Vicious autorials like Hannibal Lecter
Cannibal lectures like Hannibal’s lectures”

This is an unbridled mess – monotonous, repetitive, rambling and retarded. If it’s gangster to tie together “Silence of the Lambs” and “The Wizard of Oz,” Young Gotti wins the award for the hardest G that ever lived. The worst part may be that Kurupt is trying to show off his lyrically nerdy side by throwing in an X-Men reference, yet in doing so displaying a total lack of understanding of what “adamantium” is supposed to be – the strongest firearm or projectile known to man could not “put a hole” through it. Kurupt is better served when he isn’t trying to be too clever for his own good, rapping effectively and personally over pounding bass beats on tracks like “I Get High 2”:

“The top is old to me, all I’m lookin for now
is the surface to resurface hood-bound
The bottom’s old to me, all I’m thinkin ’bout now
is climbin back up midway level
All the cars old to me, the stars old to me
This shit’s old to me, the grip’s old to me
They say – ‘Gotti, you bust grown folks shit’
I’ma dip then set all my diplomats up quick
And show the whole world Gotti Barack Obama sick
I’m more than the average, I’m savage since
niggaz get broken like branches, bricks and sticks
Me and Daz, we put together army brigades”

Speaking of whom, Daz’ production (on all tracks except for “I Did It”) is the biggest strength of “Same Day, Different Shit.” The versatility of Daz’ beats allows them all to maintain a hard hitting West coast sound while expressing different facets of that style everywhere you turn. “Make That Ass Shake” could be a perfect club song even though it’s undoubtedly too explicit for even the heaviest amount of radio editing. “Gangstaz, Pt. 2” allows Daz to jump on the beat and ride with Young Gotti for a classic Dogg Pound throwback track. “What Can I Do” is slick and R&B sweet to the point it could give you a toothache, but Young Gotti changes up his flow perfectly and finds the groove for a woman he’d like to move with. Stripped down and G’d up, “Yes I’m Quiccer” is the kind of song you should test your speakers and amps with in the trunk of your car. By the time you reach the “Ain’t That Somethin'” finale featuring Daz, it’s been a pleasant musical journey through 14 songs and skits of some raw D.P.G. shit.

“Same Day, Different Shit” may find Kurupt sporting a different name but he hasn’t really changed that much. He’s still an infuriatingly frustrating MC who goes from well-structured and thought-provoking raps to nightmarishly bad amateuristic raps at the drop of a dime; but somehow on this album he largely keeps his more egregious excesses in check and finds a comfortable rhythm over the rolling Daz production. Even though quality solo albums for Kurupt may be the exception rather than the rule, don’t be fooled by the Young Gotti title and pass this one up if you’re a fan. “Same Day, Different Shit” may in fact rerepsent the ideal middle ground he references on “I Got High 2” – not the bottom of the barrel or the top of the heap, but riding between staying lean and mean.

Young Gotti (Kurupt) :: Same Day, Different Shit
8Overall Score