Master P

Master P

Game Face

The New No Limit

Game Face is Master P’s umpteen-millionth release, and his third since the time you probably stopped paying attention to him (1998’s Da Last Don was supposedly the last album before his “retirement” — you know, the same type of retirement plan endorsed by Jay-Z, Michael Jordan, and Aphex Twin).

Hey, it’s a new millennium. No Limit Records is now the unnecessarily re-titled New No Limit Records. The No Limit empire finds its primary cash crop, not in thugged-out slangin’ n’ bangin’, but in the adorable 11-year-old Lil’ Romeo. And apparently, the little tank on the label insignia is “rounded instead of square.”

But besides donning a mildly cleaner vocabulary and a universal distribution deal courtesy of Universal Records, the “ghetto Bill Gates” is mainly up to old tricks. Master P still hides his questionable rapping skills behind electro-jiggle beats that bounce around lazily. He still indulges in bathos-intensive emo-rap, lovingly (and ham-handedly) paying tribute to fallen homies by pouring out a lil’ liquor. He is still cringingly un-clever in his choice of samples (this time Parliament’s “One Nation Under a Groove,” Kurtis Blow’s “The Breaks,” and, inexplicably, The Bee Gees’ “More Than a Woman”).

Also, he still says “Ugh!” … A lot.

But despite its trappings, Game Face plays some pretty convincing game. Firstly, it sports possibly the best single No Limit has released in the last five years — the electrifying, oh-so-dirty bounce of the aptly-titled “Ooohhhwee.” The same speedy feel of the old NL stardard “Make ‘Em Say Ugh” careening through some unrelenting electro-bounce – and drilling home the Dirty Southern Aesthetic with farm animal noises and “Dukes Of Hazzard” references. When DJ Vice fills the third verse with siren screech scratch, it officially goes off the chain and into the stratosphere.

Secondly, Master P has taken to calling everyone “whoadie.” On the surface, the word appears to be pretty versatile — a term of derision or endearment, appropriate for men or women, good for moments of joy (“Where you at, whoadie?” “Over here whoadie!”) or grief (“Whoadie gone, what we gonna do now?”). Whatever the fuck it means, it sure beats hearing the n-word and the b-word thrown around as haphazardly as they were in past Master P releases.

It’s a welcome addiction to the lexicon. Appropriate it quick before it becomes the next “What the dilly, yo?”

The New No Limit Records:

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