Rap music is one of the most controversial music styles today. Its harsh messages and fast-paced rhythm are just too much for some people to understand. A prime example of this style is Magic. His latest release, Thuggin’, is a compilation of delicate subject matter and raw emotion.
With subjects ranging from murder and gangs, marijuana and sex, Thuggin’ covers a lot of ground. Helping Magic deliver his message is a wide range of rap talents. Murder-C helps out with the tunes “Wobble, Wobble”, “Do You Really Want Peace”, “Club Thang”, and “We Gon Ride”. Also lending a voice is Ms. Peaches. Her sultry tone adds true music and melody to “Freaky” and “Wanna Get Away”. Well-known rap artist and executive producer Master P is featured in the fight song “Ice on My Wrist”.
Specifically, one of the many disturbing elements on Thuggin’ is the explicit lyrics about hate and death. In “Do You Really Want Peace”, Murder-C alludes to being a murderer. It’s as if he’s praising himself for taking a person’s life. This subject is not only rooted in this song; its presence appears in “Ice on My Wrist”, “Keep it Gangsta”, and “9th Ward’, along with other references to violence in many others.
I find it hard to see the good in music that purposely focuses on such negative subjects. Magic wanted to show the flip side of death and how appreciative we should be for the life we have with the song “Thank You Lord for My Life”, which was written in memory of Stacy Leigh. It’s just a shame that a song with such a positive message as this is followed by “Keep it Gangsta” and “Thugs”. Not only does this singularly positive tune share the cover with violence and hate, it also follows the song “Puff Puff”, suitably named after the joys of smoking pot. By placing this song amongst others of such negative influence, the powerful message is buried. It would have helped ease the negativity if Magic closed up shop with this one.
Released by No Limit Records, Thuggin’ is a difficult blend of hard-core lyrics and base-cranking beats. Magic’s raspy voice is great, but his brutal content and repetitive phrases start getting old after a while. While Ms. Peaches’ lustrous tone comes shining through toward the end and a varied compilation of rap artists contribute their unique styles, it just isn’t enough to save Thuggin’.
+ Ashley Adams