RapReview Of The Week

[The Sound of Revenge] Chamillionaire :: The Sound of Revenge
Universal Records

Author: Steve 'Flash' Juon

It's been a long time coming, but the wait is finally over. Few artists have released as many self-promotional albums in the last two years as Chamillionaire: "Chamillitary," "Mix Tape Messiah" and "The Truth" just to name a few. In fact Cham has been so prolific he had a "Greatest Hits" album before he ever released his major label debut. Perhaps the single most impressive thing about Chamillionaire though is how much he has evolved as an artist since his split from former partner and best friend Paul Wall. While Wall picked up the torch for diamonds and flossing and ran with it (successfully) on his album "The People's Champ" earlier this year, Chamillionaire has steadily showed an increasing depth beyond talking about wealth. He's become adept at punchlines, worked hard on mastering the craft of a storyteller, and tightened up his flow and diction in general. "Highly anticipated" would be an understatement. All that remains is for Cham to get over his petty feud with Mike Jones and get the best payback of all - sweet success. That's what "The Sound of Revenge" is all about right from the intro:

"Yeah, a lightning bolt strikes in the air, yeah, finally it's here
Cause y'all are the judge, the day of judgement finally is near
In your eye I see a tear, and it's remindin me of fear
Rap's been dead so long, so stop denyin what you feel
Dis payback for the fact that y'all ain't tryin to keep it real
Grim reaper that we call Revenge right beside ya in your ear
He's saying your time expired, time is finally due it's clear
Not sober mind is a weak mind and he's buyin you a beer"

You can't make it any more obvious than that. Chamillionaire is so about his game, lyrically and mentally, that he'll eschew the trademark vices a rapper's wealth (real or imagined) buys and stay firmly focused on being sharper than his competition. The banging Hardley Davidson beat of "In the Trunk" shows though that King Koopa isn't trading in his player card or his hard beats. Cham still likes to bump it down the block, he just does it better with his shit than anybody else does with their own:

"I heard somebody say that the South ain't got no lyricists
Well 'bang bang' at the game like everyone down here is pissed
You lookin for the truth then look no further, here it is
Turn it up a notch so they can not say they not hearin this
They say Chamill is sick, click click, here's a clip
'Bang bang' at the rap game to make your spirits lift
And it seems to me the industry is all on Jigga's dick
Who? You, you, you, and you nigga - pick a click
Universal sent me to bring some realness to the industry
Got here, then I realized that ain't nobody real but me
Okay, a couple niggaz but none of 'em real as me
Tell your favorite rapper he should diss me if he disagree
I bet I'm actin like your favorite rapper isn't me
Tell your second favorite whose the best and show 'em a picture of me
He'd have to take me out to prove that he's as sick as me
So me verse me, the only battle that y'all gonna get to see"

That kind of confidence is not only hilarious, it's damn infectious. It's hard to argue with his points - the South's lyricists don't get the credit they deserve and a whole lot of the industry STILL swings from Jay-Z's nutsac. What's really key to Chamillionaire's flow is the pace of his delivery. Rewind the phrase "diss me if he disagree" several times and you'll key on exactly what I'm talking about. Cham flows like a lyrical Swiss watch - flawless timing. Only two tracks deep into the album Chamillionaire has already proven his point, but when he unleashes the Scott Storch produced "Turn it Up" featuring Lil' Flip on track three, you really could say "Game Over":

"Give me that million dollar beat and let me show you what to do with it
(Who that is??) That's the illest rapper chopped and screwin it
Couldn't snatch the game is what they told me, so I'm provin it
Put the truth in Texas with Scott Storch and you got you a hit
Hit and never miss, rep your click and throw 'em high
Cause Chamillionaire's the anwser to the game like Allen I
Middle fingers to the sky, if they don't like that reply
Cause any DJ that deny is a mother fu'uh'err liar
So give the ladies what that want, got 'em racin to the front
of the stage to feel the bass and tell the DJ turn it up (turn it up)
Yeah! _Sound of Revenge_, send Universal to go get my plaques
Rap is dead so I'ma bring it back, like DJ's do when they hear my track
Check out my track record, they'll say I'ma track wrecker
Hotter than a black pepper now that I am back niggah (he's back!)"

Just so you don't get the impression that the entire album is Chamillionaire bragging on himself or his abilities (and certainly that's been a time honored premise for rap albums for decades) there is more diversity to the subject matter as you go deeper into "The Sound of Revenge." Cham reminds the hood to honor the code of the streets on "No Snitchin'," warns that rappers who perpetrate an image on wax they can't maintain in real life may pay for it on "Frontin," and even smooths it out a little bit on the Beat Bullies produced "Grown and Sexy" - the latter may turn out to be a surprise crossover hit for Koopa. The singing of Natalie on "Think I'm Crazy" may make it the obvious choice, but both tracks are fly as hell. Another song which may surprise those who think Cham is a one-trick braggadocious MC is the inspirational "Rain" featuring Scarface and Billy Cook:

"Tired of bein poor yeah, tryin to leave the rats
Walk out to see that three of your tires be all flat
And that, one tire left is a sign of hope
That helps you to keep on grindin when you kinda broke
That helps you to keep composure up around your folks
That keep you from tryin to wrap a rope around your throat
Don't choke - you feelin like givin up
Life isn't a million bucks, you're feelin like livin sucks
God's tellin you he your boy but you don't wanna give the trust
Momma tellin you pay your tithes and you yell at her back "For what?"
So the pastor can ride faster, get some rims on his truck
I don't think they'll miss ten percent of negative bucks
Put some Henny up in your cup, your problems'll start to drown
But soon as your buzz leaves, them problems come back around"

Chamillionaire is not the first out the South to come this real, and definitely not the last. Rather he's one in a long line of tradition who raps from the Dirty but often gets treated like dirt. This time Cham vows that things will be different and with "The Sound of Revenge" he may indeed reap what he sews. His hard deep voice suggest that revenge is a dish best served cold but in the end "The Sound of Revenge" will go down as one of the year's hottest albums.

Music Vibes: 8 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 9 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8.5 of 10

Originally posted: November 22, 2005
source: www.RapReviews.com

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