Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Real West Coast Gansta * * * *.
Awax | Corona, California United States | 07/10/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In 1995 I was in college and playing football in the state of Oregon. I bumped this CD in my walkman on every road trip. This has to be one of the most underated West Coast CD's off all time. CJ Mac represents throughout the whole joint. There's not one song on the CD that I skip. I bump the whole thing straight thru. Don't sleep on this West Coast classic. It's a must have for your CD collection. I spent many nights drinking a cold 40 and slappin bones with the homies while bumpin this CD."
Thought-provoking lyricism over incredible production
ctrx | 'bout to show you how the EAST COAST rocks... | 06/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You might recognize Mad CJ Mac's name from a few guest appearances during the 90s on some other west coast artists' albums. His 1995 debut "True Game" was released on Rap-A-Lot Records, making him one of the Houston label's few west coast artists during their mid-90s heyday. Mad CJ Mac is an immensely talented individual, both on the mic and on the mixing boards. As a producer, he has a great formula, his sounds are polished, funky, and consistent. He tends to use the same instrumentation on each track, usually consisting of a high, whiny synth, rolling bass, a hard beat, and often a choppy sax or horn. His sound is strictly g-funk, but it's not quite as laidback as Warren G or Dr. Dre's early beats, they have a harder feel. The beats sound really great throughout the LP. On the mic you'll find CJ Mac to be an enticing MC. He has a nice delivery, deep and commanding. He has radical ideas and speaks with experience about life on the streets and drug trade. I enjoy him most when he challenges the legal system and talks about incarceration, but he's also really good when he talks about the hood and the lifestyle. Although he falls into cliche once or twice over the course of "True Game," a handful of absolutely classic tracks that make this album totally worth the pickup, and the beats make it worth it alone. Musically and lyrically, this album is really a gem and it's a severely underappreciated west coast album.
Following a totally dope intro, the album begins with the lyrical gem "Let My N...s Out the Pen." On this song, CJ is truly powerful. He criticizes the American prison system and injustice in the legal system. He addresses government conspiracies, such as the "war on drugs" and 3-strike law, that really make you think. He makes convincing arguments for his cases, and I think that's a sign of a great rapper. On the title track, CJ speaks of his experience and wisdom of the streets over a fast and synthed-out beat, it's not the best song on the disc but I definitely like it. The next song is an absolute classic, "Come and Take a Ride," a collaboration with fellow South Central rapper and labelmate Poppa LQ. The beat is absolutely perfect, a laidback, vibesy g-funker with an awesome synth-line. It's got an awesome chilled-out vibe but maintains a raw feel to it, both rappers' deliveries sound great and this song is just awesome. "Realism" and "Powda Puff" are two solid tracks, lyrically they're not standouts but the awesome production makes these songs keepers, especially the latter, a rough diss track with a bumping, sax and string-laced beat. My favorite song on the album is "Losin' My Mind," a really engaging song both musically and lyrically. The beat is gorgeous, a bouncy, woozy track with sax and great electronic instrumentation and a pounding synth line on the hook. CJ speaks of urban paranoia a la "Mind Playin' Tricks on Me," his raps are insightful and emotional. "N...s Can't See Thee Ahh!" is another nice woozy track, he represents his hometown and coast. It's not a real highlight but again a very solid track, showing his consistency as a producer and rapper. "Tryina Survive" is a pretty average song about struggles in the dangerous ghetto, and "Trust No" is kind of forgettable. "Dead Man Walkin" is a return to form, a heartfelt and musically excellent song. The album closes with the pretty good "I Can't Stand a Rat."
Rap-A-Lot couldn't exert the same pull on the west coast as they could in the south, so this album went under the radar despite its quality during the 90s and remains slept-on to this day. I highly recommend this one to fans of west coast rap, his lyrics will appeal to 2Pac fans and anybody with ears could enjoy his awesome production. While he would go on to release one more album, 1999's Platinum Game, this was the crown jewel of his career, but with the flood of California g-funk in '95, it was swept under the rug with other gems like Jayo Felony's Take a Ride, Twinz' Conversation, and B.G. Knocc Out & Dresta's Real Brothas. 1995 was a great year for hip hop, especially on the west coast, and this reflects the great state of rap at the time. There are points on this album where you'll find yourself thinking it doesn't get much better than this, and it's true, there is some incredible hip hop on "True Game." If you get the chance to pick this up, I highly recommend a purchase, this music is thought-provoking and musically excellent."
G$ | B-More, MD | 11/05/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"CJ Mac delivers a quality cd for his debut. He was already 30 when it came out but it has some tight west coast beats and he tells his stories well. He gets on the young players in the game saying he been bangin since '79 and used to get birds for $4300. It has a few classics and doesn't feature many people (one song w/ Poppa LQ & 2 chorus sung by some woman). No real weak spots. Neveretheless it is a good CD and a must have for gangsta rap west coast fans.
#2 - 7
#3 - 10 (a classic w/ a tight beat)
#4 - 10 (another classic w/ a tight beat - f/ Poppa LQ)
#5 - 7
#6 - 8.5 (talkin' about soft "gangstas")
#7 - 9.5 (great song w/ a long intro)
#8 - 8
#9 - 8
#10 - 7
#11 - 7
#13 - 8 (talkin' bout snitches)
Bryan Ross -- b. 1965 -- Los Angeles, CA
check all my reviews"