Jackpot for Chingy
Howard Bailey Jr., better known as Chingy was born and raised in St-Louis Missouri and he rose to stardom with his first album "Jackpot". His love for hip-hop started at a young age of 9 years old when he began writing lyrics and recording raps at 10 years old. H-Thugz was his first name as a rapper but he later changed it to Chingy which is slang for money. Chingy was discovered by Ludacris manager, Chaka Zulu and both of them signed the young rapper to their upcoming label DTP (Disturbing Tha Peace). Chingy dropped his first album "Jackpot" under the DTP label and Capitol Records on July 15th, 2003. Features on the album are from, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, I-20, Tity-Boi aka 2 Chainz, Murphy Lee, J-Weav, Trina and Jermaine Dupri. All songs were produced by The Track Starz except for "Bagg Up" which is produced by legendary westcoast producer, DJ Quik.
The first song of the album following the "Jackpot Intro" is "He's Herre". It's a good song to start off the album, the production of the instrumental is actually banging and Chingy's flow and rapping skills were on point. "Represent" is featuring I-20 and Tity-Boi now known as 2 Chainz. The song was ok, I'm not a fan of the hook or the sound effects behind the hook itself, and when Chingy started his verse with an angry tone, it was kind of funny because it actually doesn't suit him due to his personality but he made it work on the song. The following song is "Right Thurr" and it was the first single of Jackpot. Even though the song was a strong hit, it was kept # 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 Charts for 5 straight weeks behind the songs Crazy in Love by Beyonce featuring Jay-Z and Shake Ya Tailfeather" by P. Diddy, Nelly and Murphy Lee. And to be fair, there were a lot of major hits in 2003. After that, we have a skit "Jackpot The Pimp" and the song "Wurrs My Cash". The song is really enjoyable, it has a smooth vibe and Chingy did a good job to insert his flow into the song. The song is about being a pimp and they treat their "ladies." Unless you're suicidal, don't listen to the song if women are around, then again, girls enjoy listening to Cardi B nowadays, so forget what I just wrote. "Chingy Jackpot" is another good production track from The Track Starz, and I thought at first that the weird pitch of the girls singing on the hook would be annoying, but it matches the instrumental pretty well.
Halfway through the album, we have "Sample Dat Ass" featuring Murphy Lee. The beat is a little bit slow, but for those who are familiar with Murphy Lee way of rapping, he raps slow, so maybe The Track Starz made the beat that way in purpose. The song was just ok for me. "One Call Away" is an R&B song and another single hit from Chingy. The song is featuring Jason "J-Weav" Weaver who is better known as an actor for movies like ATL alongside T.I. and Lauren London, the voice of young Simba in the Lion King, Drumline and The Jackson 5 mini-series as teenage Michael Jackson. This song was also kept # 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 Charts behind Yeah by Usher. No luck for Chingy trying to be # 1. After the skit "Dice Game", we have the song "Gettin' It" which has the same type of instrumental from most of the songs in the album.
"Holidae In" is another hit single from the album and is featuring Snoop Dogg and Ludacris. Alongside with Right Thurr, Holidae Inn was heavily played back in the days in my early high school years. The next song is "Juice", where the subject is similar to "Wurrs My Cash" but I less enjoyed this song. We have the final skit "Fuck Dat Nigga", and then the song "Madd @ Me", which for me was the worst song of the album. "Bagg Up" is produced by DJ Quik and the only song not produced by The Track Starz. The song has the nicest vibe from the album, Chingy's flow was on point, and we can also notice a WestCoast California vibe in the instrumental. Great collaboration between Chingy and Tha Quiksta. The album finishes with the remix for "Right Thurr" featuring Trina and Jermaine Dupri.
If you're looking for a lyrical or storytelling hip-hop type of album, Jackpot is not it. It's typically a rap album to enjoy the vibe in your car or in a party. Back in 2003, I did not have to chance to listen to the album when it came out, except for the three singles but 16 years later, I feel that the album is still relevant as a good album. I'm giving Chingy respect because when he released Jackpot, he was against some top artists as I mentioned earlier in the review and Jackpot came out the same year as 50 Cent's "Get Rich or Die Tryin'". Jackpot still sold very well and was not overshadowed.