Beats By the Pound, the production squad whose revved-up sounds helped make Master P's No Limit label a household name in the rap world, had some limits of its own. After beefing with P over royalties, the crew departed the New Orleans-based imprint in 1999, changed their moniker to the Medicine Men and proceeded to reorganize themselves.
They hope to reintroduce themselves in a major way with Six Shot's debut, Medicine Men Present Six Shot: The Actual Meaning, scheduled for July 17 release. Six Shot — a veteran rapper from the city's infamous Magnolia projects who honed his skills with pre-fame Beats By the Pound members and such rappers as Mystikal, Fiend and Magnolia (now Soulja) Slim — is thrilled to have some of the Crescent City's most prominent beat pushers backing him up.
"I'm excited about it because, hey, they could have fu---- with a whole lot of people," he said. "But they came back home and snatched me. I'm proud. They're like my big brothers, anyway."
The album's lead single, the pounding "Itz Ya Dog," is burning up radio in New Orleans and Memphis. The cut's video should air within a month.
Although he enjoyed the song, Six Shot wasn't sure it was single material. "KLC produced the track and thought it was going to bang the clubs up," Six Shot said. "It was his vision. I didn't think it was going to be the single, but I've got faith in my man."
Unlike other Southern rappers known for their fiery flow and bombastic production, Six Shot favors a laid-back delivery and raps over beats possessing a more or less controlled fury. Six Shot is a light breeze compared to Mystikal's vocal hurricane.
"That's me," Six Shot said. "I came up around older cats, so I've got a
mellow vibe. I'm not the wild-out type. I'm laid-back."
Which isn't to say raucous sounds are absent on The Actual Meaning. Three 6 Mafia rabble-rouse on "Real Down Here," Capone (of Capone-N-Noreaga) lends an excited hand on the happy-you're-out-of-jail anthem "Glad Ya Home" and Fiend spontaneously combusts on "Down-N-Dirty."
But it's "XXXtra Skin," about an uncircumsised man, that should really get fans' attention. "From that point on the whole album flips," Six Shot said. "That's to throw the listener off, like 'Where is this cat coming from?' You've got uncircumsised cats out there, so it's a real subject people have got to shine light on. It's more like a comedy, something you could laugh about, but at the same time it's real."