Pretty Willie :: Enter the Life of Suella
Label: Universal Records
Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon
In case you were wondering, or even if you weren't, "Suella" is actually
an acronym that means "Suave Usually Educated Luckily Ladies Ask." It seems
that the young man born Willie Moore Jr. has a pretty high opinion of himself,
which is where the name "Pretty Willie" actually comes from; so don't get it
twisted and think he's on some OTHER shit.
In fact, Willie's pretty down to earth in his raps; which revolve around
interactions with women ("Cut the Chase") fast moving cars ("High Speed")
and yet more women ("She Got a Man at Home"). Sounds familiar? It's not just
the topics that will give you deja vu. Willie hails from the scenic city of
St. Louis, Missouri. If the topic matter and his birthplace haven't already
keyed you in, here's the icing on the cake: he has a SING-SONG RAP FLOW.
When you put one and one and one together, it all adds up to one thing:
he's the second coming of Nelly.
The problem with being the second is that it also means you're not the first.
To JL's credit, the producer who handled most of this album including the lead
single "Roll Wit Me," the music definitely SWANGS with that smooth
Midwestern style that made Nelly and his fellow St. Lunatics so popular. If
Nelly is going to learn anything about being "#1" it's that imitation is the
greatest form of flattery; but ALSO that the imitators are gunning for
your spot on top and aiming to knock you off.
Even though Willie says we're going to get "REALLL close and personal" with
him on the 'Big Al' produced "I Can Only Be Me," no other song on the album
does that. An undeniable feeling of flossin' permeates the air throughout,
which means for Pretty Willie his life is already as 'Pretty' as it can get.
He even rubs it in on "Lil Piggy" with a hook based on a well known nursery
rhyme, with a whole new twist:
"This Lil' Piggy got money money
Y'all lil' piggies got none
This Lil' Piggy eat shrimp and steak
While them other lil' piggies want some"
Haterism has no place here, since plenty of rappers flaunt their success in
big ballin' fashion and always have since rap's earliest days. What does
apply here is the fact that Pretty might be more highly regarded if he was
Nelly-Come-Early instead of Willie-Come-Lately. This stylistic similarity
in fact be unavoidable since they came from the same town, but when the
two are compared Willie suffers a bit. He spends so much time talking about
how 'Pretty' he and his life are that he forgets to inject the humor and fun
into his raps fellow St. Louis denizen Nelly does, which goes a long way
toward explaining his popularity beyond the style and the beats. Willie
does have both, but that alone can't carry this album - which it should
also be noted is CENSORED and contains so little foul-mouthedness in
it's debauchery it feels like a Disney-ized porno movie. This does make a
difference when you're rapping, because you're using words to paint a picture,
and the picture Willie paints is that he's a great pretender to the throne,
but he's certainly not the King.
Music Vibes: 7 of 10
Lyric Vibes: 5 of 10
TOTAL Vibes: 6 of 10
Originally posted: May 7, 2002