Lil' Flip - You Gotta Feel Me      
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written by Low Key    
In just five short years Lil Flip has went from a rising local star in Houston's rap scene to a revered platinum selling phenom. With a workmanship and hustler like mentality, Lil Flip has truly come up the hard way. The self proclaimed freestyle king has paid his dues in the underground scene over the years and is now reaping the benefits of his newfound commercial success. "You Gotta Feel Me", Flip's newest double disc release, is the emcee's most venturous effort to date, but one that certainly ends up as his finest.

As with any Lil Flip album, creative and thought provoking rhymes are at a minimum. However, what Flip manages to accomplish better than most of his Southern counterparts is his song making and beat selection. And while "You Gotta Feel Me" may stay mired in the same pattern of flossing, stunting and thugged out imagery, Flip manages to do so in a fairly impressive manner. Flip's syrupy flow and humorous pimp tales stay manageable thanks to a variety of spectacular production efforts and solid guest appearances .

The opening disc of the album is easily the better of the two, as Flip offers his best material throughout. The addicting lead single "Game Over" has been Flip's biggest commercial hit in this career, and rightfully so. The bouncy, video game inspired beat and egotistical rhymes from Flip draws the listener in, while the songs simplistic but effective hook pushes them over the edge, leaving the song permanently burned in their cranium for days. Keeping the pace is the infectious party sounds of "Bounce", which also features a catchy hook that will literally have every club goer in a frenzy.

Flip also manages to provide some gritty street anthems throughout disc 1 as well. "I Came To Bring The Pain" takes a page out of Mr. Meth's book but is forgiven due to spectacular production and a solid guest appearance from Ludacris. One of the better collaborations on the album is the Flip and Cam'ron pairing on the grimy "All I Know". With similar styles and vocabulary, the two emcees blend nicely with each other over the heart pumping murderous sounds. But what would be a Lil Flip album without a Dirty South posse cut? David Banner and Three 6 Mafia come together with Flip on "Represent", a sweaty Southern anthem .

But just when you think you have Lil Flip figured out and pigeon hold into one corner, the leprechaun emcees pulls a rabbit out of his hat with the "Sun Don't Shine", an introspective look into his life that proves he can do much more than stunt and act a fool. "Sun Don't Shine" is one of those tracks that looks each listener in the eye and says, "I dare you not to feel me". The emotional and powerful track is the type of effort Flip had to produce in order to break the stigma surrounding him.

While disc 1 represents the overall success of "You Gotta Feel Me", towards the end of the disc the album starts to loose steam. Flip takes a couple of stops a clich central and conjures up some weak efforts such as "Ain't No Party", which features a handful of recycled lines, not to mention its hook, which couldn't be anymore played out. "Ain't no party like a Lil Flip party, cause a Lil Flip party don't stop". The wack hook disease continues to spread on colorless "Dem Boyz", as well as "Check", thanks to an average Red Spyda production effort.

This pattern of lukewarm material continues to show its face on disc 2 of the album, unfortunately proving that Flip should have stuck with one disc instead of two. Most of the disc two can be considered left over material, as the majority of it fails to move the listener. The typical sounds of "Y'all Don't Want It" featuring Jim Jones, "We Ain't Playing" featuring Pastor Troy & Killer Mike and "Ain't No Nigga" featuring David Banner are all dull collaborations that have little replay value. The same can be said for the screwed tracks thrown in "Dem Boyz Remix" and "Drugz", which were unnecessary and break the flow of the second disc.

As with any double disc album, "You Gotta Feel Me" could have benefited immensely from a large cut down. While the album flows nicely for the most part and moves at a fast pace, one can't help from feeling Flip could have accomplished something great if he would have saved the best 13 tracks for one single disc. Nevertheless, "You Gotta Feel Me" is an album that will open the worlds eyes to the talent of Lil Flip. Even if Southern rap isn't your cup of tea, I can guarantee you Flip will pleasantly surprise you with his effort on his latest release.

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