Once upon a time not long ago... dreams of success in the rap game were seen as something you didn't have a ton of control over. You had to be "discovered." Stardom and the ability to have real world luxury through the rap world was bestowed upon you by the almighty gatekeepers (the major labels and television networks, etc). Seemingly, the only path to being knighted with it was showing the gatekeepers your worth (through a demo or some other low probability "shot" at it), and then just following whatever they said to do in order to 'maximize' your success, which equaled them chipping you off some insulting fraction of your actual generated wealth.
This glass ceiling bullshit had to be broken of course-- and nobody shattered it quite like Master P. The South's indie answer to Puff Daddy -- Percy Miller -- was never going to get handed the keys to game. So he almost literally built a tank and invaded the motherfucker and snatched them! New Orleans wasn't a major market; his movement wasn't even the most popping thing in the city when he went all in on a blueprint that feels familiar today --but was groundbreaking at the time-- and it resulted in a new standard of self-sufficiency and independence for rappers and moguls. He didn't wait to be let in and once he got there he wasn't leaving with a fraction. Master P's industry takeover reshaped the dreams of an entire generation and created an entire aesthetic around defining one's own path and having a limitless definition of wealth in Hip-Hop.
Fast forward a quarter century and we have Gee$ (pronounced like the plural of G) and his newest album, "The Luxury Pack." My take on this project from its cover art to its lyrical themes and its production is that its a 90's baby's childhood dream of rap decadence and what it means to chase the dream of rap immortality. Just like Percy Miller bucked New Orleans bounce and made previously unheard southern twanged gangsta shit, Gee$ is making music with "Northern" elements in an area (Virginia) dominated by a different sound. Appropriately, "Luxury Pack" is highlighted by it's lead single titled, "Master P." The visual for the Swaves produced track was directed by LordEtha-- and its a great look. The video for "Master P" graced our Top 3 countdown here at The MSQ Shop for its simple, yet poignant representation of the awesome, nostalgic vision of luxury and celebrating success that Master P put in our heads. The track itself, of course, is a huge reason why. Munee's verse on there is super hard with an onslaught of No Limit references. If a lead single's job is to set the tone of an album, you'd be hard pressed to find another indie artist that made a more effective one.
The production on "Master P" and throughout "The Luxury Pack" is extremely cohesive. With a lion's share of the production credits belonging to Swaves (shoutout my guy Haze Felix) --the soundbed was great. There was a definite intention by seemingly all the artists involved on this project to help Gee$ pay homage to the greatness of the late 90s and early 2000s, but have it be interesting and current. These vibes stay true both sonically and thematically with the subtle ode to Dame Dash "Dusko Poppington" and A Tribe Called Quest with "Midnight Marauders."
YO. When I say Gee$ can rap -- Gee$ can rap. Listen to "Priceless" 2:00-2:15...come on -- he spits. The story is the lyricism here, but the bars are giving you a lot of biographical information at the same time. Like I said, this project definitely has an Up North flavor with how the pictures are being painted and the brands and personalities being referenced, but as Gee$ said himself he's "really on some Southern shit." This Norfolk artist is actually expressing a familiar sentiment for a lotta cats below the Mason-Dixon Line that appreciate Dipset as much as they appreciate 3-6 Mafia. But on that NY shit-- he's operating from a position of power and pride and competition -- so even when he's describing losses he's making them sound like wins or what's gonna make him win today. Other than the fly "luxury" shit, that's the vibe takeaway for me... win at all costs. No Limit shit.
Quite simply, "The Luxury Pack" is a full go. And just like any other luxury-- its better experienced then talked about, so go stream that shit yesterday. Here are my notes...
Dopest Beat: "WallStreet" Produced by Swaves
Most Lyrical: "Priceless"
Biggest Wildcard: "On My Soul"
Best Song: "Master P"
Stream Gee$' music on all platforms and follow him on social to stay in tune with his movement.
Post By: @itskirbs804