After years of being G.O.O.D. Music’s longtime second fiddle, GLC has finally stepped out of ‘Ye’s tall shadow with a retail release of his own. Vastly different from his previous experience as just being slated on a guest slot, Love, Life, and Loyalty is his first attempt at painting the complete picture. What was once an accenting brushstroke, GLC’s rhymes are now the portrait’s core, with the rest of the vignette built around him.
The album peaks early on, thanks in part to an abundant guest stars and features that serve to provide steady variation and a consistence of quality tracks. The Bun B feature on “Clockin Lotsa Dollars,” is an easy highlight, as Mr. Four Cigs drops a notable verse that could be arguably the best sixteen of Love, Life, & Loyalty. Also stopping by for a piece of action is fellow labelmate John Legend to grace “Pour Another Drink,” with a memorable hook, along with the Chi’s resident flame spitter Twista on “Cold As Ice.” The most striking collaboration comes when G.L. Crisis hooks up with the Nappy Boy and Louis Vuitton Don on his premiere single, “Flight School.” Over a triumphant melody, Kanye West and T-Pain provide variation and originality as a great change up from GLC’s drawling flow.
As strong as the aforementioned cuts are, the album quickly heads downhill when the spotlight is solely on GLC. His one-dimensional flow and redundant lyrics send the remainder tracks into a spiral that screams for creative assistance. He simply cannot carry a song by himself. The core of the album’s content is focused primarily on the very typical topics, all summed up nicely in “MHCC” a.k.a. “Money Hoes Cash Clothes.” This record is an essential reminder of GLC’s shortcomings. His slow, almost deliberate delivery, while initially good, quickly becomes repetitive and unoriginal. Furthermore, his narrow subject matter on songs like, “First Model,” and “This What It Is,” demonstrates a total lack of creativity and inspiration. There’s only so many times you can beat a topic to death, before it comes back like a zombie to haunt you. As for the WTF factor, GLC employs a puzzling sample of Eli Porter on, “I Did It” alongside a drowning amalgam of horns and bass. Folks, this is one you have to hear to believe.
Though showing substantial potential, Love, Life, & Loyalty is quick to point out GLC’s flaws as a solo emcee. While, he can drop a solid verse on a song or two, the album lacks a concise direction and suffers from an overall sense of déjà vu. Consequently, his development is still a work in progress, and until he can figure out how to blend all the elements together to create just the right colors, there will always be a few gaps and inconsistencies. Hard work pays off however, and missteps aside, GLC still manages to pull off a 3LW.