Retro Review: Ghetto Fabulous

Retro Review: Ghetto Fabulous

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Ghetto Fabulous, by Mystikal

The third studio album from Mystikal was definitely one of the highlights from the No Limit era but wasn’t as good as it should have been, through no fault to Mystikal. Ghetto Fabulous was a good album, but everything great about it was overshadowed by Master P’s decision making. The bad decisions are especially evident on that fucking horrid attempt to replicate Tupac’s “Dear Mama” in “Life Ain’t Cool.” Nah, P, that song ain’t cool.

  • Lyrics
  • Instrumentation
  • Production
  • Features
  • Longevity
  • Impact
  • Personal Preference
3.4
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Review

Lyrics
 Good ol’ Michael Tyler is definitely no slouch when it comes to his lyricism and wordplay. His James Brown-esque delivery and unpredictable flow just add to the uniqueness that is Mystikal. The humor that he adds to his songs was a little more scarce in hip-hop back then, so it’s a nice touch. Plus, I have a deep respect for fellow vets, which is definitely evident in some of the phrases and references that he makes on this album.
Instrumentation
 Beats By The Pound (now known as Medicine Men) shaped the entire sound of No Limit (and along with Mannie Fresh, much of the south at the end of that decade) during its heyday. While the actual mixing and master of the albums left something to be desired, the beats were definitely banging.
Production
 I try to be a little more fair to independent labels when it comes to production, but No Limit was just bad for releasing low audio quality albums. This album was no exception, which sucks. With the production quality that Mystikal got with his albums after No Limit, this album would have been a lot easier to listen to. From an engineer’s standpoint, though, I can only imagine how hard it is to mix Mystikal’s vocals.
Features
 I was really torn in two directions on this one. First, you have great appearances by Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, Mac, Fiend, C-Murder, Charlie Wilson, and Naughty By Nature. They all fucking shine. Mia X wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t her best showing. Then….you have Master P, Silkk the Shocker, and Anita Thomas. I understand that Master P created the label and got it going, but by him trying to put some of his people on, he brought down the quality of this album.
Longevity
If not for the production quality and quality of the lesser features on this album, I’d still be listening to it on a regular basis. Not for the quality of Mystikal, but the lack of quality from No Limit makes this album a little easier to forget.
Impact
 Now, it’s easy to confuse longevity and impact, so to clarify, Ghetto Fabulous definitely made an impact for its time. It made platinum in a little over a month. From an independent label, that insane. Now, there haven’t been a lot of clones to come out of the woodwork, just due to the uniqueness of Mystikal, and the difficulty in replicating that. Petey Pablo tried…HAHAHAHAHAHA.
Personal Preference
 I personally love this album and have no regrets listening to it again for this retro review. Would I put it in my top 10 of all time? No, but it’s definitely worth listening to if you want to learn about some of the roots of southern rap.

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