various artists :: Wild'N Out Compilation Vol. 1 :: Ncredible/RED Music
as reviewed Steve 'Flash' Juon

[Wild'N Out Compilation Vol. 1] Heads up - the "Wild'N Out Compilation" is EXCLUSIVE to Walmart. If you go to looking for it you're out of luck. Heads up part two - if you thought that an album could get around the censorship the related TV show received on MTV - forget about it. Walmart would not even stock it on their shelves if it carried an explicit rating or parental advisory sticker. Nick Cannon and his friends cursing is just too much for America's fragile youth to deal with. After thumbing through "Wild'N Out" though I can see why this was targeted at Walmart. In fact take a look for yourself.

MTV's own market research shows their audience getting younger, so it's not surprising that they'd match this up with the purchasing power of Walmart's clean album buyers (fully ignoring the fact that Grand Theft Auto is one aisle over). If you're over 18 and you're in this for the hip-hop music that comes from Nick Cannon's brand of freestyle humor, the extras packaged with the CD won't be that extra. It's not likely you will make your own squads and play your own version of the show, nor will you be doing the crossword at the back, though you might linger on the picture of the Wild'N Out Girls and read some of their fun facts (measurements not included).

Perhaps nothing illustrates the schizophrenic relationship between hip-hop's adult themes and MTV/Nick Cannon's demo better than the album's finale "Show Me Love," a Troy Ave updated 2014 version of 50 Cent's "In Da Club" complete with G-Unit's Tony Yayo.

"You can find me in the club, bottle full of bub
Outside I got a Tec, inside I got a snub
I roll correct, act wrong and get a slug
I see that you in the money, well baby just show me love"

Even though the song's chorus refers to violent gunplay, lines like "Jewelry all rocky/you know how I be/told you motherfuckers in the hood I'm papi" get silenced on the curse words. There's no point to a few of the tracks - if you want to hear the "Wild'N Out Intro" just watch the show and if you want to hear Charlamagne Tha God lecturing you on hip-hop that this album "represents the great space that hip-hop is in right now" that's on you. It's not even that I disagree with his point, it just could have been used for another song instead. The best songs come from skits performed on the show like Kevin Hart's "Muffin Top" ballad.

On the whole the compilation gets a thumbs up for that reason - it's pretty clear there are songs from the show that have a shelf life beyond the individual episodes. In fact if Nick Cannon digs deep enough into the archives there could be many MANY volumes of "Wild'N Out," which is clearly why this is only "Volume 1." If I may though the package should be sold in two different ways - a cleaned up Walmart friendly version with the activity book for the kiddies, and a 18+ retail version that's uncensored and has no booklet. You can even charge a little more for it and throw in an uncensored "Best of Wild'N Out Uncut" DVD. There's opportunities here Nick - capitalize. (Also go for more than 36 minutes next time!)

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

Originally posted: February 18th, 2014