Often overlooked but never without resolve, Mack 10’s career has held steadfast even though he’s never been the biggest dog in the yard. Never overextending his boundaries and ties with the bottomless revenue pit of Cash Money have lauded him job security in the face of a rapper recession. It’s with those [gang] affiliations, Mack is able to traffic his ninth album, Soft White undetected, yet fairly unblemished.
The title not only doubles for One O’s paraphernalia possession of choice but also expands on the notion that the former Westside Connector has mellowed out for the good of his craft. Getting civil on the slow burning “Mirror Mirror,” he addresses his unwavering dedication to rap and even addresses ex-wife T-Boz (“Never been a wife beater/just too much of a player.”) Elsewhere, the Anthony Hamilton featured “It’s Your Life” is a surprisingly indepth tutorial that directs street smarts to the youth.
Equally deserving of praise are Soft White’s production cast. Sprinklings of keyboard notations and sweltering bass thumps to compliment Mack’s deliberate flow and keep it in the spirit of Californication. Underrated beatsmiths such as Mike City, Ervin “EP” Pope & C-Note all put in work where needed. Tracks like “Big Balla” and “Street Shit” are draped with traditional arrangements of the Cali G-Funk while others, such as the Dow Jones-produced “Hoo-Bangin’ II” thump heavily in the bass area like they were tailor-made for a low-rider.
Of course, the occasional lapse where Mack 10 gets too sappy in his gangsta love give the album more cushion than a push-up bra. He treads dangerously into “sugar daddy” territory; teasing to fly chickenheads out the country and such nonsense. Likewise, the irritating “Dope Boy” sails in completely out of place, even as bonus track where Mack shovels in unnecessary boasting for the entire duration of the song.
Despite a couple chinks in the Saran Wrap™, Soft White demonstrates OG’s can still offer up wisdom’s worth soaking in. Should you choose to lend them an ear.
Mack 10 Feat. Rick Ross & Lil Wayne – “So Sharp” Video