Lil’ Scrappy’s return hasn’t exactly stoked the masses into a rabid frenzy the way he would have hoped. Perhaps that’s because Silency & Secrecy: Black Rag Gang isn’t a full Scrappy project, but rather a chance for him to give shine to his G’$ Up clique. Or perhaps it’s because Mr. Scrap himself hasn’t exactly built a catalog worthy of renown and attention.
Silency & Secrecy barely beats its low expectations by delivering occasional choice cuts of southern-fried Hip-Hop. To put it frankly, the album’s not breaking any boundaries or offering anything progressive alongside the fact there’s little difference between the strong and weak selections. Standout tracks are driven by particularly well crafted beats of moments of charismatic rapping that give a little boost of humor or pizzazz. “Damn,” is the best example, an interesting synth stutter with a sped-up sample circa 2002 lays the foundation for some clownish rhymes about banging women. Pooh Baby, one of Scrappy’s G’$ Up cohorts (along with Young Vet,) delivers this “gem” that embodies the content of 95 percent of the album’s rhymes. “Damn/shorty got that Aquafina/that wet wet pussy like it was Hurricance Katrina/And if she let me beat then it’s going to be an Ike and Tina/Got more d!ck for these hoez pimp than Oscar Mayer® weiner.”
If striving for hoez isn’t the song topic, then gangbangin’ is the alternative. As with the ladies songs, the results are mixed. “Lick Gone Bad,” is a solidly cinematic effort by Young Vet about, (surprise!) a drug deal gone wrong. “Cell Phone Watch,” the lead single, is a car-thumper with solid performances by all 3 MCs. “Gas,” on the other hand is a clunker, ruined by an unnecessary repetition of the song title throughout the chorus.
What ultimately derails this album is the sheer lack of innovation, and the border on biting of Scappy’s southern kin, especially Lil’ Wayne. It not just that the beat on “Gettin Money, sounds like a re-chopped “I’m Me,” it’s that Young Vet has the audacity to open “That Ain’t It,” with the line “I am a martian,” and play it off as original. Well that it ain’t either and without originality, there’s only so far this crew can go.