Give It 2 'Em Raw

Give It 2 'Em Raw

By the late ‘90s Master P’s independent No Limit records, which had started out of the back of an unassuming Oakland storefront in the late ‘80s, had relocated to New Orleans and through a revolutionary grassroots distribution system, become one of the most powerful forces in hip-hop. Much of the music that emerged from No Limit in the late ‘90s was amongst the most adventurous of its era, and anyone who criticizes the No Limit aesthetic as backward or underdeveloped need simply take a listen to the serpentine flows and abrasive, gut-churning beats of Soulja Slim’s classic Give It 2 ‘em Raw. It may stand as No Limit’s finest release. No Limit’s in-house production team Beats By the Pound provide a set of particularly dark keyboard-based beats that slow the celebratory rhythms of bounce to a boneyard crawl while Soulja Slim dexterously weaves tales of unrepentant gangsterism that eerily foreshadow his eventual murder in the summer of 2003. A disturbing album to be sure, but its art is undeniable; it is surely a high point in No Limit’s vast catalog.

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