The fuss surrounding Kanye West’s “Graduation” and 50 Cent’s “Curtis” may have overshadowed “Ultimate Victory” by Chamillionaire, released a week later. And that’s a shame, since it may very well be the best of the bunch.
The first thing that jumps out from this CD is the lack of a Parental Advisory sticker. Chamillionaire has completely eliminated cursing from his disc, and it’s amazing how much more versatile the album is because of it. There’s also minimal reference to overtly sexual themes and other offensive material (and yet, somehow, there’s still enough to talk about for 19 tracks).
The CD starts off with “The Morning News,” which chastises how the media manipulates the truth: “If your class ain’t upper class, then your opinion is irrelevant.” The first single, “Hip Hop Police,” featuring Slick Rick, continues the trend of thumping beats with clever lyrics. And the hits just keep coming; “Standing Ovation” and “Won’t Let You Down” are both a bit slower but equally catchy and will have your head bopping.
The standout of the album is “Industry Groupie.” Sampling Europe’s “The Final Countdown,” Chamillionaire successfully mentions 25 of the biggest names in hip hop and integrates their catch phrases or popular songs to tell off groupies: “Like Unk said, take 2 steps toward the door and just walk it out.”
There are a few slow spots on the album. “Rock Star,” featuring Lil’ Wayne, and the ensuing skit are intriguing at first, but get old fast. Fortunately the album gets back on track with “You Must Be Crazy,” “The Evening News” (by far the deepest song) and the title track, which is a telling look into Cham’s life.
Ultimately, Chamillionaire steps up his game from his debut album and delivers a CD that is fun to listen to while also being intelligent. If success is the sweetest revenge, then this album is the ultimate victory.
Joey Held may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.