Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Rolling late-night funk
ctrx | 'bout to show you how the EAST COAST rocks... | 05/20/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Oakland rapper Pooh-Man is one of those west coast MCs that despite multiple great albums never broke through, and today has fallen well into obscurity. His debut album Funky as I Wanna Be is one I've enjoyed for years, and when I saw that his '94 effort "Ain't No Love" was still in print, unlike the entire rest of his discography, I made the purchase. Pooh-Man was Too Short's young protégé on Funky as I Wanna Be, and that album closely resembled a Short album, with light, catchy production and raps mostly centered on women and pimping. "Ain't No Love" is in stark contrast to that album. Between these releases, Pooh and Short had a bitter fallout, and Pooh returns with a vengeance. Multiple tracks are vicious disses toward the Short Dog, and the title of the album refers to their relationship. However, Pooh also changes his subject matter a lot, he's a different character here. Rather than a womanizing pimp, Pooh instead comes across as a violent street gangsta, painting dark profiles of a dangerous ghetto and telling gloomy tales of late-night crime. It's quite entertaining, and his unique flow enhances his tales. He uses a sort of sing-songy flow, and his voice ranges from a growl to a near whisper. The album's greatest strength is in its production, however. Rather than the early Bay Area vibe of his previous work, "Ain't No Love" is built upon dark, slow, and heavy g-funk. The rolling bass, soulful guitars, and assorted synths and instrumentals that make every track provide a dark soundscape for his stories. This is late-night funk for the car, I can really envision this music being played at night. My only complaints are that the album is a little long, there are fifteen tracks and almost all are about five minutes or longer, so it is a little bloated. It's very consistent though. Overall, "Ain't No Love" is Pooh-Man's most accomplished work, lyrically and musically his finest album.
The album begins with "In the Gutter," a slow and dark journey through a day in Pooh-Man's neighborhood. The more upbeat "Gangsta" has very catchy instrumentals and funky bass, musically this song is very appealing. Pooh-Man uses a whispered delivery to create a cool mood on this song. Pooh explores his character and story on the funky and upbeat "What the Deuce Look Like," and the head-nod-inducing "Just Another Drive By" profiles the aftermath of a murder. The angry "If It's Goin' Down" follows, a lyrical highlight, and then comes the upbeat and catchy "Back Breaker," which could be considered a party jam despite the threatening lyrical content. The best song is the title track, a truly vicious diss directed toward his former mentor, Too Short, and Ant Banks. Over some excellent production, probably the best beat on the album, Pooh lets loose with fury, doing his best to make them look completely foolish. "Don't Test Yo Pimpin'" showcases some nice, faster production, and the lowrider anthem "Let's Ride" comes next. Every g-funk album at this time had a riding song, and this one's very nicely done. "Murder Rap" is among the darkest songs lyrically, and one of the best, "Letters From the Pen" follows. Each verse is a letter from an incarcerated criminal to a family member, and the sunny yet sad beat is slow and perfect. "Down Low" is the only song for the ladies, but it's actually pretty enjoyable, if only for the good beat. "Fade My Flow" is a little sparse and not among the best songs, but the closer "Street Games" is a very nice end to a great album.
"Ain't No Love" is a forgotten g-funk gem from '94, lost in a sea of g-funk that year and unfairly buried along with other gems like Lil' 1/2 Dead's The Dead Has Arisen. It's a really cool album, and the dark grooves and street tales are very enjoyable. Obscure it is, but I highly recommend this album to the g-funk fans, it's a slept-on treasure that (while it's still in print!) listeners should jump on."
Serious, Hard Core, West Coast Gangsta Funk
G-Funk 4ever | Listenin' to the Delfonics | 03/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Pooh-Man came out with furor in this 1994 set. He may not have the best flow in rap, but he does paint you a nice picture of gangbanger life. My favorite track is "Just Another Drive By," where he represents the gutter mentality of Killa Cali. Take the album for what it is, mid 90's Gangsta rap over twangy G-Funk beats. The beats are awesome. Too bad, Pooh-Man had a falling out with Ant Banks and Too Short; they would have all collabo'd awesome on this set, possibly making it a big classic. Still, it is a tight mid-90's album."