Big Gipp Mutant Mindframe

With commercial hip-hop emanating from the South becoming resurgent in recent months it’s ironic that the Goodie Mob, the group that gave the region its Dirty South moniker is currently precariously in limbo. Group talisman Cee-Lo left the fold citing the artistic aspirations of Big Gipp as a factor in his decision and on Mutant Mindframe it’s evident this record incorporates elements you’d be surprised to hear on a Goodie Mob record. A case in point is that most of the initial tracks produced by DJ Speedy do little to distinguish themselves from the “get crunk” and “tear ta club up” brand of hip-hop that holds down the club scene in the South. But to classify the whole of Mutant Mindframe within this scope would be misleading. Lead-off single shows the charming marble-mouthed delivery of Big Gipp over nimble funk and “Strange” aspires to the Bootsy Collins/P-Funk vibe Gipp aims for on the album cover and he brings in Outkast’s Andre 3000 for the spacey weirdness of “Boogie Man.” In contrast to the club-oriented first half Big Gipp moves on to weighty social issues like “Creeks” that flashes back to Big Gipp’s own childhood and the spectre of the infamous and gruesome Atlanta child murders. While he’s improved on the mic, Big Gipp’s still not an arresting presence and the production on some tracks like the excruciating machismo of “Let’s Fight” lets him down a bit too often. Big Gipp’s vision is clearly to represent the full spectrum of Southern hip-hop, however his shortcomings derail his ambition. (Koch)