Master P's well-named No Limit label blissfully ignores the vagaries
of the '90s overproduction epidemic. And flaunts it as if it were an
irreverent punk stance.
With its (at times) one-album-per-week release schedule and 70-minute
running times, No Limit seems to be all about the act of releasing
records with little differentiation between the products. The beats
are interchangeable, the star system is overcluttered. And there are
so many guest spots per album it's hard to remember whose disc you're
Except when you listen to this one.
Maybe on most No Limit releases a hook is a hook and a def beat is a
def beat. But each of the 23 songs and skits on Mercedes' full-length
debut, Rear End, is memorable. Memorable enough for me to sing
to my cats at odd hours.
Our favorites are "Do You Wanna Ride" ([RealAudio excerpt] containing interpolations of
"Nasty Girl" and, natch, "Mercedes Boy") and the first single,
"It's Your Thing" ([RealAudio excerpt] a sultry, vaguely TLC-like slow-burn).
"N'S Ain't S**t" is a welcome update of Shanté's "Brothers
Ain't Shit" and "Kiss da Cat" (RealAudio excerpt) is an edifying pussy-eating lesson.
Not that these are songs per se. Laughably cheap and rushed, they're
more chants with the occasional rapped verse. And the chants are what
you remember and sing to your cats. But what did you expect? Dumb,
catchy chants are quicker to write than entire verses of rap. Besides,
the record works as is.
On the downside, Mercedes doesn't have a reality outside the bedroom
or apart from warring with other women over men. And it's damn near
impossible to swallow all 70 minutes of the disc in one sitting.
There ya have it. Did I enjoy Rear End? Sure. Will I remember
it same time next year? Probably not. Will Master P? Probably not.
He'll be too busy with his wrestling stint and his talking doll and
more confused (albeit intermittently hilarious) cine-epics and even
more records and ...