Just ask B.G. (short for Baby Gangsta), who made his early living off such highly appealing tracks as "Bling, Bling" and "I Need A Hot Girl." He was a part of a Southern hip-hop movement, in conjunction with Juvenile and the Cash Money Millionaires, and in competition with Master P and his No Limit Soldiers. However, seven solo albums and several group albums later (and at the ripe age of just 23), and B.G. has been through the trials of a lifetime: an alleged nagging heroin addiction (which he claims he has kicked), being kicked out of the only rap crew that he has ever known (Cash Money), and having to face starting over with "Life After Cash Money," his eight studio album.
While B.G. (or B Gizzle as he refers to himself now) has experienced so much, his "Life After Cash Money" is nothing more than it was previous to his "firing" from the group. And, despite several interpersonal attempts at forcing listeners to believe otherwise, B.G. has hardly changed from his old self, complete with enough uninteresting and stale drug-slangin', gang-bangin', hootin', hollerin', and hangin' for those that remember his early ventures into hip-hop.
Very surprisingly, B.G. does open up his life for an opening batch of tracks that closely resembles quality hip-hop music backed by strong experiences and even a touch of humor not always found within B Gizzle's music. "Intro" gives a brief history lesson on the musical career of B.G. and features a rant by Ziggler The Wiggler (think Jay-Z's Pain In Da Ass gone South) that takes some clever shots at Baby, Cash Money's co-founder. "Geezy Where U Been," where B.G. takes times to break bread with the questions of his fans (he does a mean Lil' Wayne impression here, as well), and "My Life," the story of his upbringing and movement towards rap music, both give introspective views into the life of B.G. and actually prove to be quite entertaining and out-of-the-ordinary for the former blinger.
The lead single from "Life," "I Want It," hardly captures the commercial appeal that it intends to pack (hey, who says robbery doesn't always make for radio-friendly material?) but "Don't Talk To Me" continues on with B.G.'s low-key and subdued approach to striking back at those that forgot him during his addiction struggles. But, then "Life" changes for B.G., as it's back to striking at the old gangster-cliches and working the street angles back into the music.
The already done "Walk With Me," a spoiled Ying Yang Twins cameo on "Get Wild With It," and the drug tales of "Street Ni--a" (featuring T.I.) all drag B.G. back down into his pattern of repetitive raps with mundane and lifeless lyrics. Following in the pattern of Juvenile's "Slow Motion," "Like That" exploits a decent Soulja Slim verse and a jacked-up chorus (See Khia and "My Neck, My Back") to create another disaster of a track, and "Rolling in My Cadillac" provides the example of what Southern filler tracks are all about.
B.G. can still appeal to the masses, as evidenced by his choruses on the R&B-influenced "Right Now" and the catchy "Doing My Thang," but he struggles filling up so many verses with a very broad and narrow realm of possibilities for topics. If his earlier, more personal rhymes on "Life" were any evidence of what B.G. is actually capable of, trimming the tracklisting and cutting the unnecessarily dreadful tracks that play like broken records would not be a bad idea.
"Life After Cash Money" begins in unapologetic fashion as an album that represents one huge joke on Baby of Cash Money. How could he let such an appealing Southern rapper like B.G. (especially in a South depleted of many quality rappers) slip away? The joke though, surely enough, points straight towards B.G. by the end of the album as he returns to his old standards and relies on his core Southern audience instead of branching himself out. Maybe Baby knew what he was doing here. Everything that blings is not always platinum. Unfortunately, like other lessons he has learned, it seems B.G. may have to learn that the hard way.