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RapReview Of The Week

[Who Is Mike Jones?] Mike Jones :: Who Is Mike Jones?
Swishahouse/Asylum/Warner Bros.

Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

It started in the South. It spread across the United States like a wildfire out of control. And now, worldwide, millions of people are tippin' on 24 inch rims, rollin' Vogue tires. Now flossing big rides has been a tradition going back since the first Model T rolled off an assembly line, and it certainly reached it's first apex with the "muscle cars" of the 1950's and 60's. These days though it's artists like Mike Jones who are bringing this phenomenon to a whole new generation. Even if you can't afford to roll a ride with candy paint and chrome, you can certainly live vicariously through his hit song "Still Tippin'" and get the feeling the Swishahouse camp does when they roll big boss style throughout Texas:

"Four Vogues I'm tippin, woodgrain I'm grippin
Catch me lane switchin with the paint drippin
Turn yo' neck and yo' dame missin
Me and Slim we ain't trippin, I'm finger flippin and syrup sippin
Like +Do or Die+ I'm 'Po' Pimpin,' car stop rims keep spinnin
I'm flippin drops with indvisible tops, hoes bop when my drop step out
I'm shakin the block with four 18's, candy green with 11 screens
My gasoline always supreme, got do-do the brown with a pint of lean
It takes grindin to be a king, it takes grindin to be a king
'First Round Draft Pick' comin, 'Who Is Mike Jones?' comin
Slab shinin with the grill and woman
Slab shinin with the grill and woman
I'm Mike Jones (who) Mike Jones the one and only you can't clone me
Got a lot a haters and a lot of homies
Some friends and some phony
Back then hoes didn't want me, now I'm hot hoes all on me"

Life's fun when you're riding on top, and Mike Jones is certainly at the apex with the crossover success of this Salih Williams and Michael Watts produced masterpiece. It's slow and low, grinds over a cello, and pounds the bass box while your woofers bark out the boom. With Slim Thug and Paul Wall providing able assistance on guest verses, it's a certified Southern classic. This song's crossover appeal moved it from relative obscurity on a compilation called "The Day Hell Broke Loose" to star status as the first single from the Mike Jones national debut "Who Is Mike Jones?" The name's apt, because if you weren't familiar with Mike Jones before "Still Tippin'" you're probably still wondering who he is. As he says himself on "Screw Dat" about his success "a lot of people hate the fact that Mike Jones blew up" when he's still a relative unknown outside the Dirty Dirty. That's sho' to change with this release, which features the playalistic stylings of Jones both on his own and with Swisha affiliated guests like Big Moe on "Flossin'":

"Lil daddy you can tell I'm ballin
From the way I'm flossin 84s I am crawlin
Screens fallin as I slide up and down your block
With a chain full of rocks and princess cuts in my watch
Mike Jones; I'm hot now a lot of people callin
But back then they left Mike Jones crawlin
I'm rising they fallin, cause I stayed up on my grind
Didn't have time to whine"

Beats are definitely the strength of "Who Is Mike Jones?" Sears turns in a lot of crunk for the trunk with his tracks "Turning Lane" and the smooth but somber "Laws Patrolling." Salih Williams hits all the right notes on tracks like the reflective "Five Years From Now," the begging to be screwed beats of "Back Then," and the aforementioned banger "Screw Dat." There's plenty of hard pounding cruising music to go around, even a dope track by Three 6 Mafia kingpins DJ Paul and Juicy 'J' on the "Got it Sewed Up" remix. The only downside of this album is unfortunately somewhat predictable - a decided lack of depth lyrically. This isn't a major problem given that this is an album meant to be played for the bump and not for profound jewels of wisdom, but at the same time you can only hear Mike Jones talk about "gripping grain and switching lanes" so many hundred times before it gets stale; not to mention he seems to shout out his phone # every single song (281-330-8004). These are the gimmicks that gave Jones his fame in a click featuring more lyrically talented MC's like Lil' Keke and Slim Thug, but relying on them can only carry you so far - and eventually that ride starts to sputter and run out of gas.

The bottom line is that "Who Is Mike Jones?" is a very enjoyable album if you're not paying attention too closely. If you're cruising with the top down blaring the beats, it's all good. If you're rocking the speakers in your house or apartment and shaking the walls 'til the pictures fall, it's all good. Once you put on the headphones and start to pay close attention to what Mike Jones is saying, you start to notice obvious weaknesses to his limited topic matter and the fact he's not as naturally charismatic as Big Moe or Paul Wall. If you can accept the limitations and still get down with the hedonistic fun he's having, "Who Is Mike Jones?" will find itself in your rotation.

Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 6.5 of 10

Originally posted: April 19, 2005
source: www.RapReviews.com


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