Who would you rather have as the father of a ghetto child: an Ol’ Dirty Bastard or a Trick Daddy? The latter may actually be the better choice. A Bastard will father a child and then abandon it, but a Trick will cheat on his baby momma behind her back while still supporting his offspring.

The comparison between the two is in fact more literal than you might think. Neither one of these artists makes music that any 14 year-old would be able to play in his parent’s house; but both got some straight up funky ignorant ass hip-hop. Again, Trick Daddy may fare better than the Bastard in comparison. While Ol’ Dirty relies on his demon habits (especially firewater) to bring out his magical madness, Daddy seems to sincerely not give a damn – sober or high. Until now though, Daddy’s national success has been limited to the megasmash “Nann Nigga” and in fact has been overshadowed by the workaholic ethic of fellow Miamian JT Money, who seems to be on every new remix or single.

Less in this case is definitely more. The T to the Double D (and the D stands for Dollars) is the vocal equivalent of Southern Comfort: raw enough to kick but smooth enough to go down easy. At times you may even mistake him for Organized Noise’s long lost child – his flow and rhymes would fit in well on any Goodie Mob or OutKast album ever released. What’s different this time from the Trick’s previous outings though is that he’s been supported on the mic with a selection of beats to bump in the trunk and not water down the raw flow.

The irony here (as often seems to happen with today’s Southern rappers) is that the lead single “Boy” is actually the least of the album’s cuts. The sharply sardonic “America” would appeal to both intellectuals and “Hard Knock Life” fans; while the thuggish “Shut Up” has that uniquely chunky horn funk and simple “Uh-huh, okay, whassup? SHUT UP” chorus that will win fast converts at the club. “Thug For Life” doesn’t hold it down quite as strong on the break (somebody tell Trick not to sing) but the blaxploitation groove and guest appearance of The Lost Tribe make it swing nicely. Enemies of misogyny are advised to slip past the Too $hort-esque songs “Walk Like a Hoe” and “Hoe But Can’t Help It” but for pure unadultered “fourth slice of cheesecake” indulgence it’s a guilty pleasure most hip-hop fans will gladly enjoy.

The album features a lot of guest appearances; thankfully Trick Daddy’s commanding presence doesn’t allow him to drown in them. He even goes toe to toe with Chicago’s fast flowing Twista on the strangely touching “Could It Be” in which TDD confesses to giving up his womanizing ways and settling down.. although he calls it “lost [and] gettin soft”. By this album’s high musical standard, even relatively decent songs like “Thug Life Again” and “Tryin’ to Stop Smokin'” (which sounds way too much like LL Cool J’s “Goin’ Back to Cali”) suffer by comparison. Don’t expect the flowery prose of Blackalicious’ Gift of Gab or the thug love spirituality of Cee-Lo from the Trick though – cause he’ll fuck around and “Kill Your Ass”.

Some wit recently said that he liked his rappers acting bad and talking shit; and ironically this proves to be exactly true with Trick Daddy. The more ignorant he gets the better he sounds; because the music and his lyrics dig up that dark part of your soul and lay it bare for you to get stanky ass funky wit. Why refuse? Open your manuals to “Chapter AK, Verse 47” and inhale the musty hemp paper as you learn how to get low down and dirty in the great state of Florida.

Trick Daddy :: Book of Thugs
7Overall Score