In years past, Trill Entertainment's first major label release would have caused much more excitement for this reviewer. As Pimp C's label, at least on paper, Trill Entertainment would have represented the next generation of U.G.K.'s raw underground sound. But the reality of today's rap game delegates Trill Entertainment to the latest of a string of southern labels to get courted by the majors, and in the process has made it nothing more than a cookie cutter label. The first major release finds a young and ignorant Webbie celebrating the "Savage Life." This release is as generic as the grill Webbie sports on the cover, with the difference being that his fronts are gold while his CD will never be.
The highlight of this album is the single "Give Me That," which sports one of the hottest dance beats since Lil Jon's "Yeah!" I won't front, the beats melodic "oh – oh – Oooooh" is straight fire and Bun-B is tight over the beat, but otherwise Webbie's misogynistic dribble is neither new nor creative. Sadly, Webbie's misogynistic ways are the central element of the savage life. Track after track Webbie finds it necessary to disrespect women and measure his worth through the badness of his bitch. It's actually quite ironic that a person who seems to think so little of women finds it necessary to mention them on almost every single song. The second single, "Bad Bitch," features another "boast" by Webbie that he wants and gets the baddest of the bitches. Even if the beat was hot (which it isn't), Webbie's ignorance would ruin the song. On top of that, the Ying Yang Twin's "Badd," which is currently in heavy rotation, addresses the same concept but adds the energy and strip club bounce necessary to make such a song work. Maybe anticipating "Bad Bitch" would not work out as he planned, Webbie included "Gutta Bitch," "Come Here Bitch," and a "Bad Bitch" Remix to ensure the word "bitch" would make it on the Bill Board charts one way or another. Even when Webbie managed to be creative enough to not include the word "bitch" in the song title, he still manages to say it with such consistency that one would think the CD was skipping.
When Webbie avoids thrashing females, his music still fails to rise above average. Part of the problem is the repetitive synth-horn production found on almost every track. It literally sounds like the producers could only afford one sound bank for the entire album. But the main problem is Webbie himself, who's shortsightedness and ignorance cloud any talent he may have. "G-Shit" is a bland explanation of the gangsta lifestyle, which for the record – includes plenty of bitches, bad or otherwise. "What Is It" is a good indication of what Ja-Rule would sound like singing if he were from the south and wasn't smart enough to cater to a pop fanbase. "Retarded" attempts to make the term popular, as Webbie relished in how retarded he is, but wasn't that done back in the 80's? Even Mannie Fresh's contribution to the album is lackluster as "Come Here Bitch" sounds like a cut and paste job taking elements from different Cash Money hits.
Webbie's only saving grace is the fact that he's young, so he has room to grow. "Savage Life" will sell decent numbers on account of "Give Me That." Otherwise, I don't see anyone other than equally ignorant teenage boys buying into Webbie's way of life. Even if somehow Webbie was trying to portray the reality of his lifestyle, the end result is a caricature that stereotypes and degrades women. More importantly Webbie fails to address the havoc and consequences young men with his mindset wreak on minority neighborhoods across America. For every young, stupid, and egotistical "Webbie" in the hood, there are 2 or 3 kids wondering why their father isn't around and why he does nothing but disrespect their mother when he is. I can't put all the blame on Webbie, I even admit it may be unfair to choose Webbie as the example of all that's bad in the rap game. But what makes Webbie so much worse than even Too Short is the fact that he actually buys into his own ignorance while other rappers are simply trying to sell an image.
Music Vibes: 4 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 4 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 4 of 10
Originally posted: August 2, 2005