After a couple of months of relative quiet, this will be a busy week for rap releases, as highly anticipated albums from Project Pat, DJ Clue and Silkk the Shocker arrive in record stores Tuesday.
Project Pat's third album, Mista Don't Play, is anchored by the playful "Chickenhead" single, which features vocals from La Chat as well as Three 6 Mafia's DJ Paul and Juicy "J." Pat was most recently heard on the chorus of Three 6 Mafia's "Sippin' on Some Syrup," which helped the Memphis, Tennessee, rap group push its latest album, 2000's When the Smoke Clears Sixty 6 Sixty 1, to platinum status.
Mista Don't Play, the follow-up to 2000's Murderers & Robbers, also features guest vocals from Three 6 Mafia's Crunchy Black. With a huge buzz surrounding the album in such southern cities as Memphis and Atlanta, Project Pat's Mista Don't Play should debut near the top of the pop music chart.
But to hear Pat tell it, as long as Memphis supports his work, everything else will fall into place.
"Memphis [rap fans] don't like a lot of stuff," he said. "Most of the East Coast, West Coast music, Memphis doesn't do that. It's always been like that. They've always been stuck on their own stuff. So if the people in Memphis like you, you can get on anywhere. Memphis is hard to please."
If Project Pat's hypothesis is true, DJ Clue's The Professional 2 may need Memphis' help to debut near the top of the chart. The guest-heavy follow-up to 1998's The Professional features performances from Mary J. Blige and Jadakiss ("Back 2 Life 2001"), Jay-Z ("Jay-Z's Freestyle"), DMX ("Who's Next [X-Clue-Sive])," Busta Rhymes and Rah Digga ("Getting It"), Snoop Dogg and Kurupt ("F**k a B***h"), Nas ("Live From the Bridge"), Foxy Brown ("So Hot"), Lil' Kim featuring Junior Mafia and Lil' Cease ("Chinatown"), Redman ("RED") and others.
Although Clue produced some of the album and injected brief commentary throughout the set, he doesn't contribute much mic time on The Professional 2. But that shouldn't hinder sales, as the 23-cut collection boasts the single "What the Beat," which features Eminem, Method Man and Royce the 5-9.
DJ Clue is among New York's most renowned mixtape DJs, having released hundreds of popular mixtapes in the last several years. He also DJed the highly successful Hard Knock Life tour in 1999, providing music between the sets of Method Man and Redman, DMX and Jay-Z. Last year, DJ Clue also spearheaded the release of the tour's soundtrack.
Although Project Pat and DJ Clue seem to have momentum behind the release of their latest albums, the new album from Silkk the Shocker, My World, My Way, arrives at a somewhat curious time for the New Orleans rapper. His label, No Limit Records, has been struggling lately, as last year's albums from flagship acts Master P and C-Murder were released without much fanfare.
But the follow-up to 1999's Made Man has the benefit of the popular, bouncy "That's Cool" single, which features vocals from sexy rapper Trina. The album also includes Silkk trading verses with Mystikal on "Them Boyz" and Master P and Mac on "He Did That."