The County Hound EP
Sorry, I just woke up from the coma-inducing album that is Cashis' County Hound EP. Thank the good Lord that it's only an EP, because I would've slept the whole damn day away.
Rewind back to Eminem Presents: The Re-Up. The oft-delayed mixtape/album was set to push the newest additions to the Shady fam - Cashis and Bobby Creekwater - as well as their already established roster - D12, Obie Trice, 50 Cent and Stat Quo. Coming into the album, I had low expectations for Creekwater and significantly higher ones for Cashis. Turns out I was completely wrong - Creekwater has a tremendous flow and unique delivery, while Cashis is extremely uninteresting - though a competent lyricist.
Before we get to the songs, let's talk production. Em did a great job on Obie's second album, so why in fucking hell is this shit so terrible? I finally thought Shady was turning a leaf in the production department, but instead he went and made the exact type of beats he's criticized for. Same minor-key, military-sounding bullshit he brought on The Re-Up. Good thing he didn't produce every track, or I'd simply have nothing to write for this album.
Lyrically, Cashis rarely brings anything interesting. You gangbang - we get it. You have a nine - sweet. There are eight tracks on this EP, and all of them have the same bullshit gangsterisms that are far too prevalent these days. Besides, other dudes do it better (Styles P, I see you). What makes things worse, dude's voice is whiny as hell, and he rarely tries different flows or inflections.
Let's do some quick math here: We've got eight tracks - one of them is the intro, so we'll just bump that down to seven. You've got "That Nigga A Gangster," "Gun Rule," "Pistol Poppin," which all might as well be the same song. You'd think "Pistol Poppin" would be somewhat interesting due to a feature from Eminem, but the Shady general's verse is completely uninspired, though his flow is flawless as per usual.
Now we're down to four tracks - "Thoughts of Suicide," "Lac Motion" (a bonus track on an EP? What the fuck?), "Ms. Jenkins," and "Just Like Me." "Thoughts of Suicide" has a similar title to the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Suicidal Thoughts," and similar lyrical content - but that's where the similarities end. Cashis' execution is completely tedious, and favors more boring gun talk, rather than making an attempt at creativity. "Lac Motion" is probably the most interesting beat on the album, with some interesting sax in the background - unfortunately, Cashis completely ruins it with more of the same 'ol shit.
The only good songs on the album are "Ms. Jenkins" and "Just Like Me." The former plays out as Cashis telling the story of a man he killed, then addressing both the man's mother, Ms. Jenkins, and the victim himself, Brian: "Dear Brian, it's Cashis, I can't sleep/I had to bang you before you banged me/Just like like I blame you, you can blame me/We both gave up our lives for banging/We didn't know each other, but we shared the same hate/Your death is my life, so we shared the same fate." The sample of Queen's "Bohemian Raphsody" is fitting, making this the album's best cut.
"Just Like Me" has Cashis lamenting that his children have grown up to be like him. Hypocritical, if you think about it. If you're sad your kids are gang bangers like you claim to be, why don't you do something about it? Instead of putting out some positive music, you decide to put out negative bullshit, and don't even do it in a creative fashion? Despite the perplexing nature of this particular song, Cashis' execution is fairly good.
Maybe it's the production. Maybe it's because I've been spinning Pharoahe Monch's Desire for the past three days. Whatever the reason, Cashis comes off to me as just another rapper. He's competent at best, and as far as I'm concerned, that just doesn't cut it...no matter who is backing you.