act: gambling is really really cool. Poker is cool. Horse racing is cool. Blackjack, craps, roulette; supercrazysexxxycool. The adrenaline rush of the bet, the high risks involve, the big rewards when it pays off… it’s quite obvious why the rap community enjoys a quick flutter every now and then, and why any sensible man would want to buy into some of that Omar Sharrif cool for themselves when he’s labelling his album.

But…. Jackpot? Our man Chingy has decided that the one image that suits his album down to the ground in the average casino is that of overweight, retired women in pastels pouring quarters into fruit machines and one armed bandits. The sort of women who lose all contact with the real world, waste their chances, and just generally fuck up. And that’d be why Jackpot is such an apt title.

“Right Thurr” was 2003’s “Hot Shit (Country Grammar)”, a big old Southern bounce dick slap across the face of the charts, and one you just knew would lead to a really bad album. And, thank Allah, it led to all manner of witty and well-thought out writing by the critics, with such moments of comical genius as “Hah! Look! He spells his word’s in a funnee way!”, and “Hah! Look! He’s a bit like Nelly, kind of, really”. The album will do nothing to dispel those views, firstly because music writers are all fucking assholes, secondly, because of the titles of the tracks (check any other lazy review for the full hysterical details), and thirdly, see point one. His flow is kinda like Nelly when he’s adopting a Southern stance, but it’s also like Snoop when he’s doing stoned, and like Eminem when he’s doing “Oooh! I’m vexed I tell you”. So, in conclusion, he actually sounds like none of them. And even so, that’s preferable to another impression of 50 Cent doing an impression of Ja Rule impersonating DMX sounding like 2Pac.

When you get past “Right Thurr”, however, there’s very little to keep you at the table. Every other track on the album sounds like a failed second single. Ludacris’ trip behind the production table results in yet another rapper-to-shit producer tale, and the horrid feeling that Disturbing Tha Peace is going to be his own variant of Shady Records (a label ostensibly about pushing new interesting acts, but actually about the owner’s feverous ego). When you combine this to Luda’s new album, it marks a falling off more commonly associated with Holby City actresses, with jerk after jerk of electo beats weaker than watered down draughty. And when The Track Starz, allegedly “the new thing”, turn up, we get… slightly less weak electro-beats. Brilliant.

Not exactly a loss, obviously, because of all the things the world needs right now, yet another pretty boy hip-pop artiste isn’t one of them, not even one that manages to wear a trucker hat over a doorag. About as welcome as “00”.

Reviewed by: Dom Passantino

Reviewed on: 2003-10-28

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