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MACK 10 (Buy CDs by this artist)
Mack 10 (Priority) 1995
Based on a True Story (Priority) 1997
The Recipe (Hoo Bangin'/Priority) 1998
The Paper Route (Hoo Bangin'/Priority) 2000

Declaring crime pays in "10 Million Ways," Ice Cube protégé Mack 10 attempts to enumerate how on his first album, a grisly gangsta joint that begins with a brutal hold-up skit — and then turns seriously ugly in an exaggerated cesspool of predatory sex, murder and pigeons (!). Cube did production duties on half the tracks by his soundalike Inglewood pal and takes the mic (in "Westside Slaughterhouse") to share a bloody joke or two. For his part, the scowly Mack 10 declares himself "Armed & Dangerous" and the "Chicken Hawk," chronicling nefarious actions in slang that is all but incomprehensible to law-abiding listeners, even with the inexact libretto provided: "Herd this nigga had the chickens/36 zones in each sack to be exac/Got 50 G's or more in street value worth of crack/As he put it down out of control with the cavey got benzos on the ground twistin front and back cadeys." Say wha? To his small credit, Mack 10 is not without wit in his chosen argot: "Me shoot straight/Never hesitate/Fools cooperate/Or I dragum, tagum, body bagum with my magnum." Party on.

[Ira Robbins]