FunkMaster Flex :: Car Show Tour :: Koch Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

It's been five years since Funk Flex dropped his "Volume IV * The Mixtape" on the hip-hop world. While a "Volume V" was rumored and even has a few entries on various websites, most seem attributed to a release date around the time Loud Records folded and used copies for sale are edited - likely making them promos only. That's not to say that Flex folded up his tent when they did. He's been making moves in the entertainment world including a TV show called "Ride With Funkmaster Flex" on SpikeTV and his own line of "driving shoes" called the FMF1 that are distributed by Lugz. Considering both things revolved around his infatuation with motor vehicles, it's hardly surprising that the first official Funk Flex mix CD to hit retail in five years would be called "Car Show Tour." It's also an appropriately multimedia experience for Flex, with one half being an audio portion and the other half being a free bonus DVD featuring everything from performances by David Banner and 50 Cent to cameos by "Pimp My Ride" host Xzibit and custom car designer Chip Foose. He's even lived up to the "Tour" part of the name by hitting college campuses across the country as part of a NASCAR College Tour, according to Support Online Hip Hop. Flex is doin' it all, and on the opening track "Just a Touch" with 50 and Paul Wall, he's doin' it big:

50 Cent: "And it's on, up and down she like to ride on top
Fast, prayin that the condom pop
That's foul, but fuck it it's all hood to me
Now Hollywood's been real real good to me
Now who gives a fuck if a bitch just ain't shit
In the whip she gives CPR to my dick
You losin 'im baby, get 'im up quick
This role play, I'm really gettin into this shit
In the telly on all fours I'm ride that horse
Screamin WOO-HA 'til my voice is lost
Call me 50, call me daddy, you can call me the boss
My dick XXL, you can call me The Source"

Paul Wall: "I give these bitches the pipe
They take a puff and they addicted for life
'Gwan kiss the mic, but baby girl, just don't bite
Hittin hoes from the back is more addictive than crack
That's why I'm fuckin every night and skeetin nut on they back
I'm addicted to groupie love, menage-a-three ain't new
I treat these boppers like my music, all I want is to Screw"

Yeah it's sexist and misogynistic - you expected anything else from these two? If it offends you, maybe the smooth beat by Alchemist and the impishly sly way they deliver the lyrics will calm your nerves. If it doesn't then try "It's Nothing" by Cam'Ron and Juelz Santana. The lyrics are more gritty, but the continually underrated Dame Grease comes with a backdrop that's as beautiful as a church choir. There's nothing peaceful about the "Kiss Your Ass Goodbye" remix though, and yes it's the same as the extended version from the recently released "After Taxes" LP. There are plenty of original songs though - Jim Jones "We Be Gettin' Chips," the superb Salaam Remi laced "Talk of New York" by Nas, even some underground bangers like O-Solo's "6 Minutes" featuring Rocwilder and the Emile laced "Can't Ride Like Me" by Papoose:

"You slowin down, I'm advancin
Got class like a Rolls Royce Phantom, these dudes can't ride like me
Cause see they wanna outsmart me
But I think fast like a Ferrari, these dudes can't ride like me
I'm from the gutter, so I'm built for war
like a bulletproof Hummer, these dudes can't ride like me
I hope on an instrumental, and ride it
as smooth as a Bentley Continental, you can't ride like me"

If you cop the exclusive Best Buy version of "Car Show Tour," this album comes with four bonus tracks: Clinton Sparks' "Mirror Mirror," Red Cafe's "New York," Team Arliss' "Somebody Gotta Get It" and original mixtape king Kid Capri presenting the rapper Budda Early on "Do Something." The second and fourth bonus cuts are okay, but the first and third one in this set feel like throwaways. Nevertheless on this version you get 77 minutes of music, which is mostly quality minus a few glaring missteps. No matter how many times he raps a cameo verse on tracks I just can't get into J Hood, and "D.B.L.O.C.K." is no exception. I'm also a little mystified by the inclusion of "The Way We Roll" by Elephant Man, which seems out of step both musically and genre wise from the rest of the album. It's also not surprising that a Flex mix tends to be heavy with East coast representation, as the D-Block and DipSet fam are featured multiple times throughout, though to his credit Flex spices it up with Xzibit's "Hurry Hurry" and David Banner's "Two in Ya Body," and both are excellent tracks. I can't even explain why, but Banner's line "You got an appetite for death? BITCH NIGGA I'LL FEED YA" just cracks me the fuck up. Must be the way he says it. Flex used to be one of the more annoying self-promoting mixtape DJ's in the business, but these days he's learned to keep his vocal stabs and shoutouts to a minimum and let his guests take the spotlight. For that reason I'll say that if you have to buy any mixtape CD at all this month, not to mention this one comes with some really hot tracks and a nice bonus DVD, "Car Show Tour" is the one you should plunk down your money on.

Music Vibes: 7.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7.5 of 10

Originally posted: December 20, 2005