Tha Liks could be described as the west coast counterpart to The Beatnuts, only with concept-based music that basically involved being drunk. Tash held a five-album legacy with Tha Liks, being a mic-controlling comedian where every song sounded like Spring Break. The mantras of chasing women, catching women, and drinking with women were doused with intoxicating raw Rap. Tash released his solo debut Rap Life in 1999, continuing along that theme with slightly more lyricism interjected and cameos like OutKast [click to read], Snoop Dogg [click to read], and Raekwon [click to read]. That brings us to Control Freak.
Fans of Tash will be thrilled to know that not much has changed. Control Freak is laden with catcalls and bar tabs hugged by solid production. The most sobering moment on the album arrives at the entrance with "The Book Ch. 1," where Tash waxes philosophical on his Rap hiatus and abusive childhood. It's like that episode of Friends where the alcoholic character "Fun Bobby" enrolls in a 12-step program and wants to start talking about his life and becomes dreadfully boring. "Go West" is more upbeat and sets the stage for the remainder of the album.
The gears don't switch after that, utilizing Del's [click to read] weird hand on the bubble-pop-electric "Get It" and the ultra-Liks sounding (circa X.O. Experience [click to read]) "Pull It Outcha Pocket." The "Obama Skit" is half-funny as a segue for "Push The Button" a fast paced track that explodes into a frenzy with the welcomed help of Goodie Mob's Khujo [click to read]. Local mainstay Knoc'turn'al checks in on a few too many tracks ("We Do This", "Bubble Up", and "City's Out"), which would deter casual fans looking to hear Tash and not the homies. The album closes with "Liquor Store Run," featuring fellow Liks member J-Ro and Montage One. It's about drinking, and there's not much more to say, save some Liks shout-outs, which hint at a possible reunion.
It's both comforting and disturbing to know that Tash hasn't changed. Like Redman, his persona is both fun and permanent and Control Freak is proof of that. The only question to ask is how much over 21 will this go on?