You know that the Southern style Third Coast rap has come a long way when an uptight record label like Already Platinum” but goes the extra mile to put out a “Chopped & Screwed” version. Five years ago that shit never would have happened. There have always been artists who came out of the South to cross over nationally (Ludacris and Scarface among others) but what’s readily apparent these days is that the North and the East way to the West coast have an appetite for the uncut raw. Thick accents, gold teeth, country slang and slowed up beats are all on the scene in a major way for 2006. Eevn though record sales lag in almost all areas, the South’s hottest rappers continue to be snapped up by major labels and promoted heavily, so clearly they know it sells.

The only dissapointment to doing a Slim Thug “Chopped & Screwed” album at this point, if you can even call it dissapointment, is that Geffen didn’t do it in the first place. These days most Southern signees are giving away the chop as a bonus disc with their CD for free – Mike Jones and Paul Wall among others just to name a few. Geffen did include a bonus disc with “Already Platinum” but in retrospect it didn’t quite go far enough. The extra Geffen offered at the time was eight tracks long, with five new songs and only three from the first disc given a Screw treatment: “3 Kings,” “Like a Boss” and the “I Ain’t Heard of That (Remix).” That’s not to say it wasn’t good, but now it feels like they planned to do a Chop & Screw all along and just decided they didn’t want to give away the whole thing for free. As a result if you want this edition you have to shell out $12 to $16 again, and you’ll get those same three tracks a second time. I’m not saying they should have been replaced, but offering a bonus disc with THIS edition is the least they could have done to say thanks for buying some of the same shit twice.

There is good news though. The entire “Chopped & Screwed” edition is handled by one of the South’s premier slow beats mixmasters, Michael “5000” Watts. As such you can expect nothing but quality in the tempo, scratching, bass response and overall musical enjoyment for the 72 minutes of this CD. It’s also not quite the amount of extra shit one would have hoped for, but the “Chopped & Screwed” does include two different takes on an updated “Diamonds (Remix)” track, with guest stars Killa Kyleon, Slick Pulla and Young Jeezy. That’s cool with me. Listening to the original “Diamonds” track get Screwed & Chopped is a bit surreal though since it was slowed on the regular edition of “Already Platinum” as it is, so now we’re talking EXTRA SLOW. Normally the Michael ‘5000’ Watts treatment will make you feel a little lean even without sizzurp, but by doubling up the dosage it’s like swimming through thick molasses. Even hardcore Screw heads might suddenly start to wonder if their CD player is broken, or if they somehow walked into a parallel universe a la “Sliders” where the passage of time draws out way more than one can rationally understand coming from the normal speed Earth.

If you’re a Southern rap fan who can’t live without hearing the extra chunky funk of the medicated slice and dice, “Alrady Platinum Chopped & Screwed” either should have been on your Christmas list or will be a first purchase for 2006 with those leftover Christmas gift cards. My advice to Geffen though is that for future Southern CD’s they should play it smart and package the Chop version with the regular. That’s the only way to stay competitive when everybody else gives away the whole thing for the regular price instead of making people purchase the new shit seperately twice. Between that and the fact this Chop version cuts the songs “Boyz N Blue” and “Dedicate” out of the mix, I have to score it a little lower than the original release, even though I’m heavily enjoying Watts work here. Just remember kids – does not advocate or encourage the abuse of cough syrup and prescription medications. Please enjoy this album responsibly. If you don’t, just ask Master P and Mystikal how I feel about it: “It Ain’t My Fault.”

Slim Thug :: Already Platinum Chopped & Screwed
7Overall Score