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Juvenile: Juve the Great

This southern MC's seventh disc covers the tired territory you get from the Cash Money crew, and it has a little more flow than his last record, the darker "Project English." As the title suggests, Juvenile doesn't lack modesty or ambition, but you can't help but recognize that the MC is coasting through many of these joints. He's about money and the life that accompanies it, and he isn't ashamed to admit it. "In My Life," the first single, is a flat-out ode to a certain type of hedonism, while "Enemy Turf" and "Cock It" are typical Glock-and-roll set pieces. You'd think that after all these years in hip-hop, the gangsta mentality would wane, but Juvenile, no doubt, would beg to differ. His anti-paternity screed, "It Ain't Mines," cops an idea from Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" and turns it into an anthem for all the iffy dads around the nation. The tracks, many of them produced by the reliable Mannie Fresh, all have the quirky electronic bounce and the style of the Cash Money stable. Sorry, Juve isn't great, but in hip-hop, believing that you are is often enough to get you by.

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