April 18, 2017

Lil Gin - Shake Junt (1995)

Shake Junt is one of those albums adored by every fan of the Memphis underground. The album is produced by the essential DJ Paul and Juicy J partnership. The instrumentals come clean, cool, and with a primo gangsta/pimp rap personality. However, the music gives no obvious clue that it's an underground Paul and Juice production. Well, maybe it does, but only if you're listening regressively through the context of The End, Can It Be?, or King Of Tha Playaz Ball because this hardly sounds anything like the heavy, messy madness of tapes like Come W/ Me 2 Hell, Pt. 2, Junts We Choke, or The Excorcist. The instrumentals are laid back loops and sort of take a backseat in order to let Lil Gin and Skinny Pimp tear apart the microphone.

Lil Gin is one of the most skilled and entertaining rappers of the Triple 6 Mafia. Across the board--lyrics, voice, and flow--he can be considered a miniature Skinny Pimp, but this is only speaking for his days with Triple 6 as he became different when he stepped back into the game in the late 90s. This is unsurprising seeing that Skinny often appears alongside Gin on Triple 6 tapes as well as a four time feature on Shake Junt. It's obvious Skinny was grooming Gin to be one of the Gimisum torch-bearers (with Lil Yo), but after the release of Shake Junt, Gin mysteriously dropped off the map until his 2000 album. I say 'mysteriously' because he was the personal prodigy of Memphis legend Skinny Pimp and his album received a lot of promo from both DJ Paul and Juicy J on their shoutouts. I'm not sure if he had beef with Paul and Juicy or not, but I haven't heard any indications of that so I'll assume it didn't happen. Skinny made a mid-90s effort to be signed to Rap-A-Lot before scrapping his attempt and heading back to Prophet; the best guess I can make is that Gin was lost along the process and wasn't on the first finalized Prophet roster. I know that Glock, Noid, and Pat were locked up during this time and maybe the same happened to Gin, but I'm too lazy to look that up for sure.

Anyway, all that is just a long way of saying that Shake Junt is an essential Memphis rap tape filled with gutta character and smooth-bumpin junts. Fire lyrics and beats are flames, simply put. The rip quality available online is good too, so if you're one of those people who has a gripe with super lo-fi shit, then this should be on your eternal Memphis bump list. Also a PSA that there is another version of this album titled The Serpent's Step Son, they are the same thing. As far as difference in rips go, I have no idea.

Shake Junt