Big Gipp

Big Gipp's debut album, Mutant Mindframe, glides into record stores on its infectiously fluid first single, "Steppin' Out." Carried by cool, laid-back guitar and midtempo drum taps and rim shots, it induces images of peach-interior Cadillacs and fur hats, and Dungeon Family singer/producer Sleepy Brown provides one of his usual creamy, charismatic hooks that commands your shoulders to swivel and your feet to move. The song is definitely a highlight on an album where the diverse talents of newcomer DJ Speedy, who is responsible for "Steppin' Out" as well as four other tracks, and several other producers take center stage from Big Gipp's predictable flow.

Big Gipp isn't a horrible rapper, but he's nothing special, either. He passionately expresses his frustrations with the state of his community on "These Times"; memorializes Atlanta's missing and murdered children on "Creeks"; and ponders the veracity of written history on "History Mystery." On the latter track he sings, "History mystery/Sick and tired/Trying to figure out what's truth and who lied/Some walk through life like kings and some slide/Slide/Slide."

Half of Mutant Mindframe explores social consciousness, while the other half delves into bounce-oriented party themes. While Big Gipp shines at times, his previous body of work with the Goodie Mob set a precedent of inventiveness and creativity that found him rarely, if ever, doing and saying the same thing as anyone else in the game. But on this album he drifts into the status quo far too often. In the end it isn't his talent that fails him, but his decision to do what everybody else is doing.