bgchoppercity.jpgIn the six years that have passed since B.G. parted ways with Cash Money Records, the N’awlins native has kept his name relevant through notable indie releases. After releasing four respectable LPs, including 2006’s Heart of Tha Streetz, Vol. 2, he earned a major-label contract with Atlantic Records. But before dropping his 11th solo project, B. Gizzle unleashes a few hot boys of his own, the Chopper City Boyz. Composed of rappers Gar, Sniper, VL Mike and B.G.’s younger brother Hakizzle, the quartet attempts to display some soulja-boy swag on their debut effort, We Got This.

Things get off to a shaky start on “Taking Over,” an overly long introductory record where all of the members fail to really distinguish themselves. The slipshod musical chemistry also appears on the plodding “Bounce,” where the Boyz’ gangstafied lyrics clash with producer Bass Heavy’s simplified techno synth melody. Things actually fare better for the squad when they ride solo. VL successfully spits aggressive bars about the penitentiary on the Crack Tracks–helmed “It’s Real,” while Sniper and Gar kick intricate flows on “Heart of a Killer” and “Chopper City,” respectively. Unfortunately, Hakizzle’s generic raps about jewelry, hoes and poppin’ bottles make his solo effort, “Crucial Shit,” an unmemorable listen.

Although the Boyz manage to churn out a few notable bangers of their own (“All We Got” and “Thorough Street Nigga”), the scene-stealer is undoubtedly B.G. Over David Banner’s chunky kicks and anthemic horns on “Make ’Em Mad,” Gizzle explains, “I’m in the backfield, playing the sidelines/In case I gotta catch a nigga from the blind side.” While B.G. tries to be the bigger man by keeping his verses to a minimum, his lack of participation severely hurts the project. Instead, the Chopper City Boyz are forced to step to the plate alone, and though they may become home run hitters in the future, We Got This is merely a base hit. —PAUL CANTOR