Review Summary: A misunderstood gangsta rap classic from New Orleans.
Full Blooded (up to this point known as Da Hound) was a rapper from No Limit Records and de facto leader of the Hounds from Gert Town. Despite first making an appearance on No Limit as early as 1995 on the classic “Down South Hustlers: Bouncin' and Swangin'” compilation, Hound didn’t drop his No Limit debut until December of 1998. The album followed a similar path as the plethora of other No Limit albums did being advertised in the booklets of the labels other artists’ albums, even boasting the position of being first in a display of upcoming albums on the inlay behind the CD of two of the label’s biggest successes in Master P’s MP Da Last Don
and Snoop Dogg’s Da Game Is To Be Sold, Not To Be Told.
Despite this seemingly high profile and promising promotion, the album only sold 5,000 copies its first week and only 7,000 more by 2002. These weak sales resulted in him being released from the label the next year.
Those in the know, however, understand how disappointing it is that he was gone.
For the hardcore No Limit fans this is a highlight in the 80+ releases from the label between 1991-2005. It’s the darkest and most raw they had ever gotten for a whole record with Hound’s gruff tone and sloppy delivery mixed with Beats By The Pound’s sinister beats creating an eerie vibe that envelopes you for an hour with little let up. Memorial Day
is as grim as they come with most tracks revolving around stories of murder, robbery, and the dangers of the streets overtop instrumentals centered around ghostly piano chords, pounding drum patterns, and foreboding bass lines with the occasional squeaky synth line, menacing guitar riff, and haunting string section coloring the background.
It’s easy on first glance of the album cover and skimming of the music to deem this just another hardcore southern hip hop record but doing so would be robbing yourself of a real gem in the genre.
Hound’s amateurish performance might be a hurdle in enjoying him as it can be hard to understand what he says at times but if you listen closely he reveals himself to be quite profound in some of his statements on the record.
Songs like “Sleep No More” prove this with the hook’s lamentation of:
The man is on his way; I’m starin’ out the window, I can’t sleep no more. I’d change my life if it would change you, through all the years and tears I learned it’s something that I just can’t do.
Or the painful pleas of “My Day Gone Come” with:
I know my day gone come. When they gone say this nigga’s gone? And at my wake don’t sing that song. To all my hounds be strong. One day the man gone take us home.
It’s moments like these where his earnestness triumphs everything. For most of the record he’s telling you tales of how many different ways he has shot someone and how his friends have died in the streets of New Orleans but every now and then he throws these bars in and shows the real depth in his character.
Full Blooded may not have had the impressive lyrical skills of the Mac’s Fiend’s or C-Murder’s of No Limit, or the tight flow control of the Mystikal’s, Big Ed’s or Master P’s, or especially the charming charisma of the Silkk The Shocker’s, Snoop Dogg’s or Magic’s of No Limit, but like his cousin Soulja Slim, he had the heart of all of them which more than made up for his technical shortcomings.