You might be feeling a sense of deja vu right now. Turk has a new album in stores? In January of 2004 this website reviewed "Raw & Uncut," albiet a few months late since it was released in August of 2003. All things considered, it wasn't that bad of an album - it was even the featured review on for the week of January 20th. Turk had spent some time in the pen, and it was good to see this former Cash Money Records rapper back on the block.
Perhaps Turk is taking career cues from DMX - when you're hot, keep the albums coming as fast as you can. Either way, in less than a year Turk is already back with the follow-up release "Penitentiary Chances," named after one of the best songs on his last album. It's not the world's longest album by a long shot though, and certainly a fair bit shorter than the last release. The last one was fifteen tracks and 60 minutes, but this one is only eleven tracks and 42 minutes long. In actual fact, the album is only ten songs long, because the first track is a short "Live From the Lab" introduction by Turk's executive producer Kenoe. After that things get off to a hot start. Turk's "Raw & Off the Chain" is a dead ringer for a Mannie Fresh track, and the lyrics are fired up:
"Look, I play that Grove like I want rock'n'roll
Cock and unload, pop one fo' sho'
I just look like this, you just don't know that I'm a snake
Come at me sideways and I bet you get duct taped
Body threw in a lake, rendezvousin with the fish
On the back of a milk carton, family wonderin what happened
They'll never FIND ya, they can put they hopes down
He'll never be found, they can put they hopes down
I ain't lyin - nigga PLEASE don't fuck with me
I'll X a nigga out, immediately
Squeeze the piece, look - and let 'em fly nigga
Don't even try nigga, to duck and dodge nigga
That's a waste of time nigga, I ain't missin at all
I'm a straight shooter wodie so you gettin 'em all!"
Turk has always been unapologetically and robustly gangsterish in his rhymes, and to his credit Turk has not changed this style one bit. If violently braggadocious lyrics full of profanity and gunplay are not your forte, you might as well write off Turk's entire catalogue because it's not for you. On "Doin My Thing" he makes this point quite clear: "It ain't my fault cause I'm an untamed guerilla/a drug-addict, rapist, jackin ya killer/the streets made me, and I'm obligated/to be low down, cutthroat connivin and shady." Turk is not feeling apologetic, and he's not about to justify his subject matter or material to anyone. When the subject matter is somewhat predictably dark and hard, it's the beats that usually make the difference between tolerable and intolerable. Kenoe helps out a great deal in this regard, producing the track above as well as "Killer" and "All I Got in This World."
The surprising part of "Penitentiary Chances" is that unlike "Raw & Uncut" the best tracks of the album are not Kenoe's. A.D. makes a name for himself with songs like the smooth flowing "Life's a Gamble" and the Fresh-esque "You Put it Together" remix, along with the aforementioned "Raw & Off the Chain." U.P. handles his contributions nicely too, including the deeply bass sound of "I'm a Dog" and the surprisingly refreshing reggae stylings of "Music Makes Me High" featuring Lil Man. While "Penitentiary Chances" is a short album, and tends to border at times on being overly cliche within the gangster genre, it's still impressive for Turk to have released another quality album in such a short amount of time. Fans of this wodie will not be dissapointed.
Music Vibes: 7 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7 of 10
Originally posted: May 11, 2004