December 8, 2014

Pluto - Players Like Us Takin' Over (1995)

Otto's Review:

This is a rather unique album. You might ask me why because it looks like your typical dirty South pen and pixel-core, but on my first listen I noticed something different. It wasn't until several months later I realized that this album is almost entirely about and made for doing drugs. There is barely any reference to violence, guns, suicide, paranoia or even anything too pimpish. 90% of this album is about picking up indonesia, codeine, 40s, and riding around the city with your homies, and there's something special about that. And this is a close contestant for best Pen & Pixel artwork ever amirite?

Jody's Review:

Pluto may not be a planet, but man can they rap:

How could an album with that sort of cover be bad? I mean a car flying through space with three gangstas in it? It lives up to its cover though, don't worry. While there isn't too much creativity in lyrical topics (women, drugs, how great and funky they are, and one RIP track), it doesn't matter as it's 9 tracks long with a screwed version of the top song at the end. Pluto is a group of three rappers from Texas. One sounds like Geto Boys crossed with G-Funk, one sounds like a dirty south rapper, and the other, my favorite, sounds like a true G-Funk rapper, with a confident flow and creative lyrics (I'll refer to these MC's as the first second and third respectively from now on). Perhaps one of them is also the male singer in almost every song. The best way to describe the production is seamless. There are no real flaws, and most of the tracks excel with creativity and funkiness.

01) Nobody Phonkin Betta --- Production- G-Funk, Southern style. The female vocalist melds perfectly with the beat, and the production is so seamless there's no distinct break between the hook and the verse. /// Lyrics- Pluto sounds like a complete cross between the West and the South. They've got the drawl of UGK with the G-Funk triplet flow of Snoop and the gangster MC of Geto Boys.

02) I Getz HYA --- Production- Some of the best I've heard. Again it's seamless, and on par with Dre's G-Funk production. /// Lyrics- I love the hook on this, a male singer with Pluto muttering in the background. The third MC just has that up-front style like most of the G-Funk artists, no time for complexity. He has the first verse, followed by the second MC. They then do a back and forth in the third verse, trading every other line (the first MC doesn't seem to be on this track). Their flows and voices contrast nicely back and forth.  Undaground Madness is listed on this track, presumably as the singer.

03) We Gon Ride --- Production- That high electric guitar lead though. /// Lyrics- The intro and hook are a bit wack, but they grow on you. The singing is reminiscent of Islamic prayer calls (quarter steps and descending notes). The first verse was the best so far on this album. The second verse, presumably Jiggheadz, is decent, but not on par with the other two. He doesn't sound as confident and his flow isn't as smooth. The third verse is from the second MC, and he definitely holds his weight on this one

04) Plutonian Ballers --- Production- The piano is really well used in this. That's the impressive part, these tracks are all extremely well produced for G-Funk, but also variable, utilizing many instruments/leads. /// Lyrics- The first part of the hook sounds somewhat like the voice effects used in Parliament tracks, and has the same rhyming comedy (“I feel it's our duty/ To make you shake your booty”). The second part of the hook uses the middle-east musicality again. Pluto's rapping about women, in a very comedic manner (“Well what do you know, if she'd pregnant she can't get pregnant again”), classic G-Funk style (see Snoop Doggy Dogg Lodi Dodi).

05) Smooth As A Dope Jam --- Production- Nothing special, but still great. /// Lyrics- Taz has got your Dope Jam. I'm guessing Taz is the other rapper on this track. This is truly a dope jam, Taz runs all over the beat, and Pluto keeps doing their thing

06) Playa's Phonk --- Production- More typical G-Funk, one of the weaker tracks production-wise. /// Lyrics- Pluto talks about their phonkiness, pimping hoes, and how much he loves funk. The third MC really does have lyrical flow, it's not just his delivery when he drops lines like “From the superb words I serve”.

07) Love 4 Da O.G.'s --- Production- Damn, the female vocalist is a great singer, perfect for G-funk. I love the funky bass on this one. I'm a sucker for dark remembrance raps, and this really hits the spot. /// Lyrics- This is a R.I.P. track, and the atmosphere is perfect. It sounds entirely different from all of the other tracks, downbeat and melancholy. The rappers' flows have changed subtly and the beat has too to match. Undaground Madness makes another appearance, and on this track it really clicks. Check out the closing line: “I gotta keep pushing till my time comes around/ When death knocks on my back door and asks me to lay it down”

08) Nickel Bag Blo' --- Production- Sleigh bells, and this is Christmas. /// Lyrics- The hook is among the best, with the male singer singing while one of the members sing-raps a chorus in a monotone. The second verse is from my the third MC. He's the most excessive rapper voice-wise, which is perfect for the G-Funk beats. They even use some Jamaica-style rapping on this track, perhaps one of their members mimicking the accent or perhaps a feature.

09) P.O.O.F (Planet Of Original Phonk) --- Production- Decent. /// Lyrics- The intro sounds like DJ Eazy Dick off Doggy style. Not a great track to finish off the album, but oh well.

10) Nickel Bag Blo' (Screwed Version) --- Production- I've never been a huge fan of chopping or screwing. I think the original version is a good bit better. /// Lyrics- see track 8.

Favorite Tracks: Plutonian Ballers, Love 4 Da O.G.'s, Nickel Bag Blo'


Players Like Us Taking Over