For the life of me I don’t understand how “Ridin’ Dirty” became the commercial hit that it did. Off the strength of that single alone Chamillionaire's solo debut went platinum and he became a national rap star. In retrospect, the success of that single did a lot of damage. It stole all of Mike Jones and Slim Thug’s shine, ended Paul Wall’s career and confined him to a life of grilling, won him a Grammy and somehow allows him to declare “I am the best rapper alive” on “Best Rapper Alive.” So, do you see how a mediocre flavor of the month single can throw off the balance of the hip-hop universe?

I liked Paul Wall. Sure he was trailer park trash (lyrically), but he was damn entertaining on the tracks he was on. Who in the hood wasn’t saying “Paaaul Waaaaallll bay-be” for no reason whatsoever? We all were. Mike Jones, eh. He was bound for obscurity sooner or later so I don’t care. And Slim Thug lived the dream: he got himself an R&B b*tch and called it a wrap. He was aiight too. He had some pretty decent joints.

Now I’m not gonna completely knock Chamillionaire, son got rhyme skills for days, but he’s not saying nothing. He’s like Lil Wayne. He says clever things here and there and we just allow him to get by on it. Difference is, Wayne’s got a style and swagger that makes his music acceptable and listenable, but Cham doesn’t. That rapid rhyme style is just too much to take in large portions at a time. Only Bone Thugs, Kool G Rap or Big Pun could make a whole album listenable with the rapid rhyme (Sorry Twista. You get annoying after a while too).

There were times when he slowed it down and just flowed like on “That’s You,” and “Throwdest In The Game.” Both those joints were second-rate. He even tried a slower paced/futuristic Jigga on “Can I Get A” type style on “Switch Style Reloaded” and created a style that annoyed me even more than his usual one.

Only joints I was really feeling were “For The Moment” (Cham had a cool flow on it that went with the smooth tempo of the beat), “Murder They Wrote” (He wasn’t even on that one) and “The Evaluation” (He kicked a cool freestyle over Mobb Deep’s “Shook Ones pt II instrumental).

All in all it wasn’t a Ugly worthy mixtape, but it wasn’t hood. Not to me anyway. Maybe the faithful 200,000 fans who stuck around and copped his 2nd album might like it (Where’d the other 800,000 go?). Son can rhyme his ass off, but most of the time his lyrics have no substance. Clever and funny lines like “50 got rich and he didn’t even die/Jay gettin’ rich he ain’t needing to reply/R. Kelly on the ground, he believing he can fly/I’m running through the drought like it isn’t even dry,” are good and all, but not enough to stake a claim for the throne. Call me a hater all you want (cause you’re damn right), but I’m just calling it how I hears it.

I mean by the time “Judge Judy” had finished I couldn’t anymore. He said he “Just bumped into Oprah and wanted to feel on her booty.” Will someone please get this man a groupie – preferably a hermaphrodite, please. Son done went off the deep end again and I’m not throwing him another line.

Have a great weekend, y’all! I’m off to see NOTORIOUS!! BK all day! -The Infamous O

Hottest Joint: “Everything” (Credit Crooked I for making that joint hot)

Weakest Joint: “Judge Judy”