MDDL FNGZ :: Smokin Wit Tha Enemy :: Perfecto Entertainment
as reviewed by Pedro 'DJ Complejo' Hernandez

MDDL FNGZ is back! Every few years, Bun B's protégés make an unceremonious return to the rap game and every few years you know what to expect. The group seems to live in a bubble where the rap world doesn't change. See, while most groups can't resist the urge to follow at least one trend, MDDL FNGZ takes their name quite seriously and just makes music the way they always have. It's hardcore gangsta rap, the type that you haven't heard in years. It's straight forward beats, hooks with no R&B singing, and rhymes that are as honest as they are brutal. The group also has an air of authenticity in their music that is hard to come across. Every rapper brags about still hustling for their money, but MDDL FNGZ are believable in their declarations. Perhaps it is this honesty that attracts Bun B to the group. They are his crew, and despite failing to gain his level of notoriety, Bun B faithfully shouts out and supports them whenever they need it. "Smokin Wit Tha Enemy" is nothing new, but its consistency and the lack of true gangsta rap makes for one very fresh album.

Consisting of Kilo, B.A.N.D.I.T., Sean Wee, Munsta, and Bam, MDDL FNGZ is a mostly self contained group of emcees and producers. Sean Wee and Deal handle the bulk of the production, with Mr. Lee assisting on "Get That Hoe." What you get are bass thumping beats with Pimp C inspired synths. It's a solid formula for MDDL FNGZ's brand of gangsta rap. The album kicks off with "Hoe Shit" which features an appearance from the late great Pimp C and Bun B. It is the first of many unexpected guest appearances, especially for an underground release. Z-Ro and Bun B assist on the sinister "Murda On My Mind." David Banner lends his growl to the rambunctious "Get That Hoe." Killa Mike, SL Jones, and Jim Jones all join in on the drug-dealing anthem "A-1 Yola." Perhaps most surprising is finding Paul Wall and Chamillionaire united on the same track with "Leaving Another Behind." The beef has long been over, but it is nice to hear the duo recording together once again.

Though the guest spots add appeal to the product, ultimately this is a MDDL FNGZ album and their contributions matter most. Though their subject matter may be considered blasé to some, they do it well as shown on "Pounds Going For 4:"

"I used to smoke niggas for they chain, now I chain smoke
Put money on your brain for that cocaine and coke
Over blocks of mary jane, nah I ain't broke
How could I be when everybody and they (aun)tie smoke
Whether swag weed, hydro, sherm sticks, or crack
Everybody got some kind of monkey on they back
And some body gotta feed it, fuck it if you need it
I got it, holler at me, if it sells I'ma bleed it
Man its hell so I'm heated, but fuck it I'ma eat
And ain't no other way to put some 4's on the Fleet
Put some shoes on my feet, hoes can eat the meat
Why am I gonna chase some ass if my slab ain't complete?
Put some cash in my seat, and help a nigga hustle
Try to take it from me, I put something in your muscle
Nigga fuck selling weed, it sell too slow
I need to put my paper in a pot to move snow
But til then I got 'The pounds going for 4'"

The rest of the album keeps up the gangsta rap subject matter with songs dedicated to syrup, drug dealing, and staying ahead of the competition. At only 11 tracks deep, the crew leaves little room for error and don't falter along the way. It doesn't hurt that Bun B is featured on 6 tracks, but the group remains at the forefront throughout.

There you have it, a record that despite not bringing anything new or creative to the table excels in ways others fail. This is street music at its best. The crew doesn't stray from their formula one bit. This music won't reach the radio, has no place inside a club, and won't attract underground fans the way UGK has. It's meant for those who either live the lifestyle or respect it enough to appreciate the intent. It is mood music at its best as MDDL FNGZ conveys exactly how they feel on a day to day basis. That said, as an objective critic I can only throw so many accolades their way. None of the rappers involved can hang with Bun B. They get their point across, but in a very direct way. So if you are looking for a lyrical display, look elsewhere. If you can appreciate honesty and hardcore gangsta rap, this is the album for you.

Music Vibes: 7.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7 of 10

Originally posted: September 22, 2009