Calliope Park Click, Vol. 1
TRU/RBC Records

Beats: L
Lyrics: L
Originality: L

There’s nothing worse than a man with nothing to lose. Just ask Corey “C-Murder” Miller. Currently serving a life sentence for the shooting death of a 16-year-old fan, the New Orleans rapper puts it all on the line for his latest (and possibly last) release, Calliope Park Click, Vol. 1.

Named after the infamous Calliope Projects that raised him, C-Murder and his lyrical co-d’s hold no bars as they paint a morbid picture of Louisiana. Songs like the raucous “Real Where I Live” and the riders’ anthem “Street Made Me” set the tone for the album, which is dominated by gun totin’ tracks (i.e. “Carrin Da Hawk”) and fight music (“Get It On”).

In the midst of all the mo’ money, mo’ murder, mo’ homicide talk, the former No Limit soldier joins forces with B.G. and Juvenile for a hometown tribute “N.O. In Me.” However, it’s the heartfelt “It’s So Hard” that reveals C-Murder’s versatility and untapped lyricism. Evoking the spirit of Pac, he spits, “Politically I’m in prison/Incarcerated revision/Now who decision was it to eliminate my position?/The opposition is fishing/I’m allergic to submission/Illegal strategism see I was taught in catechism/We lost our last mission now it’s time for violation to cease/And Jena 6, yeah, we walk in peace.”

While Calliope Park Click is a solid kite, it’s not without its flaws. “The Life I Live” has a definite bounce, but gets bogged down by a uninspired hook. The same happens to the guest heavy “My Hustle,” as newcomers Pukie, Sincere Sosa and Jahbo fail to leave a memorable impact. And the female-centered “Roll With Me,” featuring Snoop Dogg, just doesn’t mesh with the rest of the album’s harder edge. Still, if this winds up being the last batch of new music fans hear from the O.G., C-Murder can take pride in the fact that he played to win and scored. Anslem Samuel