Volume 92, Issue 76

Thursday, February 11, 1999


Anything cruises merrily along

Simplicity of plot slays irristable love story

Underground sound

Throwing literary tantrum

No limits pushed by Silkk in family effort

No limits pushed by Silkk in family effort

Made Man
No Limit Records

It is apparent from the first glance of Silkk the Shocker's new CD his label's moniker No Limit is not a theme which applies to all aspects of the album.

Apparently, the designs for all the No Limit albums are all done with Comic Book Creator on a beat-up Commodore 64. Silkk's album cover is a cheap replication of all other No Limit CD liners, diamond studs and all.

Want to check a lyric that's impossible to decipher through the strained battle cry of one of the monosyllabic No Limit soldiers? Sorry, that space is occupied by countless ads for even more derivative Master P projects.

But this isn't a hate-filled diatribe directed at Master P and his No Limit minions. This is a look at his little brother Silkk's newest album, Made Man. Silkk is arguably the most talented of this ragtag budget family, which makes his condition all the more piteous – with truly skilled producers like Timbaland and Dr. Dre mixing his cuts, who knows how many limits Silkk could smash?

No Limit Records commonly showcases two types of tracks on their albums – love songs as soft as moldy cheese (and just as rank) and rough verbal throwdowns. One of the album's best tracks, "It Ain't My Fault 2," featuring Mystikal is one of the few cuts which benefits from the simplistic no-frills No Limit producers. In contrast, "I Want To Be With You" and "Somebody Like Me" are two of the better ghetto love-themed slow jams on the album. Unfortunately, there are too many of these.

Silkk best shines when he works with the better talents of the No Limit family, because when he squirms his way out from under his tyrannical brother's repressive thumb he gets an opportunity to exhibit his not-too-scant rhyming skills. On "You Know What We Bout," a collaboration with Jay-Z, Silkk more than holds his own against his formidable elder.

As well, his duet with No Limit's hired slave Snoop Dogg on "Get It Up" gives Silkk a chance to pit his jagged New Orleans lyrics against Snoop's smooth California funk, culminating in a truly winning collaboration. Made Man's two duets with No Limit's resident Missy Elliot clone Mia X, also give the album some excellent texture.

All told, Made Man is an album which emerges victorious in the eyes of its label. A passably good CD by regular rap/R&B standards, Made Man employs countless No Limit artists and production teams and is therefore viewed as worthy of rapture through their gold-and-ice-coloured glasses.

As for Silkk's talents, however, it is the only facet of this satisfactory effort which could have No Limit.


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Copyright The Gazette 1999