Review: Slimm Calhoun

Slimm Calhoun
““The Skinny””
(Aquemini / Elektra)

Some rappers slap the scales from your eyes with the knowledge they drop, others deal in metaphors, similes and wordplay, twisting the language to tell a story or just for the hell of it.  Some MC’s just plain make you feel where they’re coming from.  Atlanta’s Slimm Calhoun, an Outkast affiliate dropping his debut LP on Andre and Big Boi’s Aquemini label, belongs to this last group.  Helped by stunning production from the Earthtone III camp, Slimm is at his best telling tales of life on the grind (“Timelock,” “Worldly Ways,” and the title track “The Skinny”) that hit you right in the heart.  “The Skinny” is not all Dirty South drama, though; Slimm displays his lighter side over the infectious electronic grooves of “The Cut Song” and “It’s OK,” which features Andre from OutKast.  The album starts off strong with the confrontational energy of “Red Clay” and “This Young G,” but Slimm can’t maintain the intensity for all seventeen tracks.  “The Skinny” runs out of steam at the end, winding down with uninspired joints like “All Da Hustlers,” “Characters,” and “How Much Can I,” which is five minutes of Slimm and Sleepy Brown singing the same twenty words over and over again.  Nevertheless, on the strength of Slimm Calhoun’s presence and Earthone III’s off-the-chain production, “The Skinny” is a strong debut.