Lord Infamous :: Blood Money
Black Rain Entertainment
Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon
Pick up a penny off your desk or shake one loose out of your wallet. Designate "heads"
Lord Infamous being in Three 6 Mafia and "tails" him being completely solo and on his
own, or vice versa if you like. Flip it ten times. The laws of probability say that the results
should be five of each side, but there's a good chance it will be 7 to 3 - maybe even 8 to 2.
The more you flip it though the more even the numbers will get. By 50 flips you'll get to
26 for one, 24 of the other. By 100 flips you'll get to 51 to 49. For confused and mystified
readers wondering what the hell this has to do with anything, the point is that Infamous'
status with the Mafia might seem obvious with just ONE coin toss - he's either
in or he's out. Even with ten flips you might think one answer seems more clear than the
other. Eventually though the whole thing is a wash.
One side of this coin is the official press release from Infamous' PR people, referring to
"Blood Money" as the fourth solo album from the FORMER Three 6 Mafia member.
The other side is a solo album by DJ Paul called "Scale-A-Ton" we reviewed earlier this year. Infamous a/k/a The Scarecrow appears
on eight songs with his real life brother, and various websites around the internet reported
that he was officially back in the group. There's no doubt this move would make sense
given Infamous is a founding member of the Mafia, the length of time Infamous spent
in the group is FAR longer than his time as a soloist, and there's real life family
ties binding Paul and Infamous together. Here's where it gets interesting though - while
Infamous appeared on almost half of "Scale-A-Ton," NONE of Three 6 Mafia
appear on "Blood Money." There are no cameos by Juicy J or DJ Paul. Not a single one.
There's undoubtedly a Three 6 Mafia fan reading this review going "So WHAT?! As long
as they produced some tracks for Infamous, it's gonna be trill." Bad news - they don't do
SHIT on "Blood Money." That famously funky, heavy, deep and dank production
that Paul and J are so famous for has not been contributed to the album. A slew of other
producers step in to make their own attempt at giving Lord Infamous the Three 6 sound with
some degree of success. Mossberg has his hand on six songs and may be the best of the
bunch. The evil piano keys and slowly dragged bassline of "Niggas Like You" is a throwback
to the most ominous Three 6 tracks. "Choppa Talk" is triumphant symphony of synthetic
horns in the chorus matched with a sinister high speed psycho sound during the verses.
"Been Bout It" is as beautiful as it is dark - ringing church bells off-setting a spooky sound
well suited to a Scarecrow. Take my word for it - if Mossberg did it, you'll like it.
Much like those 100 coin flips though, "Blood Money" ultimately ends up being something
of a wash. While the LL Cool J remake on "I Need Drugz" is amusing, it's worth noting that
Necro already did this parody with the same title a decade ago - and his version is funnier.
There are also a lot of cameos by members of Infamous' new Black Rain Entertainment clique.
Some are credited by name, many aren't, and in either case there's not nearly as much
SOLO material from Lord Infamous as the album and/or press release would lead
you to believe. The songs that best imitate a classic Three 6 sound and style still work such
as "What You Bitches Wanna Do" and "1-900," but one can't help but feel there's something
missing while listening to "Blood Money." If Infamous is completely solo and on his own,
he should get to showcase the lyrical abilities that made him integral to Three 6 Mafia's
success over the years. (Let's face it - neither DJ Paul or Juicy J are going down in history
as all-time lyrical greats.) Instead a bunch of second bananas crowd the spotlight and the
only big name cameo is Chamillionaire on "Love My Whip." If Infamous really is back in
the Mafia, they should have played a prominent role on "Blood Money" yet they are totally
absent. Keep flipping that coin while you try to figure out whether or not he's back in the
group, and while you're at it, do the same to decide whether or not you'll purchase this album.
Music Vibes: 7 of 10
Lyric Vibes: 4.5 of 10
TOTAL Vibes: 5 of 10
Originally posted: July 28, 2009