Rap historians take note – the era of Suave House Records has officially come to a close with this album. It hasn’t been stated publically in so many words, but there’s little doubt that label CEO Tony Draper would release the major label debut of FoulMouf under the new label Draper, Inc. otherwise. Perhaps in the end Draper decided the label was too infamous for his own good. It released many of the greatest Southern rap classics of the 90’s but the ex-patriate rappers who left it complained loudly about Draper’s heavy hand on their records and in their pockets. If Suge Knight can start The New Death Row, then Tony Draper can start The New Suave House – minus the old name.

Now on to FoulMouf himself. It would be cheap to say he’s aptly named, but the truth is that his verbiage is no more or less nasty than any other rapper. In fact, compared to real shit talkers like Too $hort, he’s hardly in their league. He can tell some “Freaky Tales” now and then though, such as on his duet with Devin the Dude titled “Gigolo”:

“One night I took her out to the movies
She was out for the moment; me I was only out for the booty
I’m like – sheeeit, whatchu’ talkin bout? She said, ‘It’s whatever’
Oh fo’ sho baby let’s G.O.
Got the lights and the camera now it’s time for action
On the couch gettin cozy sippin wine relaxin
Oh yeah, got her right where I want her
Hand all in them thighs, lil’ momma had to swallow her pride
All of a sudden, off with the shirt, off with the bra
Then it came off with the skirt, off with the drawers
As far as fuckin, gave honey a ten
But when the night was over, she never heard from me again”

Production duties are split between T-Mix for Jones & Draper Co. (a division of Draper, Inc.) or Sean Blaze & Q-Stone for Relentless Entertainment. There’s not that much difference between their styles though – in fact it would fit in nicely between Tela’s “Double Dose” and Devin’s “Just Tryin’ Ta Live.” The rapper himself is obviously influenced by artists from other areas though – his “Gotcha” can be interpreted as an updated 2003 version of “Warning” by Biggie Smalls, and “Life Goes On” could be a Bay Area rapper doing their best to carry on the spirit of Tupac Shakur. These diverse styles meld into a Houston rapper whose higher pitched voice doesn’t reach Eazy-E crescendoes but could at times make DJ Quik sound like DMX. Of course it wouldn’t be a Southern album without a tribute to the high life, and FoulMouf oblidges on the track “Smoke Somethin'”:

“For so long I’ve been strugglin with this stress
Mouf I’m an off and on weed smoker mayne
Don’t be fuckin with no ex, sick of dealin with my gay boss
Me and him don’t get along, fucked around and laid me off
on my day off (faggot) you fuckin fruitcake
I went to hoop the other day, I couldn’t shoot straight
Plus I got a toothache, but it’s all fin’ to go away
Because my only agenda for the day is sit back and roll this J
Nigga you should holla at me, just chunk a few dollars at me
I can drown your sorrow daddy”

FoulMouf gets props for his willingness to spit rhymes that don’t end on a rhyme every single bar; he’d rather drop two rhymes in one line or fit them in every other line or wherever the flow lets them fit to keep his concepts flowing nicely. That attention to lyric writing puts him above the caliber of most typical new jack rappers who debut, and makes him a good candidate to introduce Draper’s new label to the masses. He hasn’t really gotten any major play nationwide to date, but “Hush” featuring Bun B from U.G.K. could be a step in that direction with a beat Timbaland would envy and a confidant rap that “in one verse got ’em fiendin like a nympho.” Another good candidate would be the bounce groove “Street Love” featuring T-Lo of Next, which FoulMouf coyly admits that “you gotta have at least one of these on your album” in an attempt to blow up. FoulMouf just might too. If not, it’s at least a good start in that direction.

FoulMouf :: Talkin' Shit
8Overall Score