SPM - Time is Money

Several months back, I began hearing rumors about Priority Records and Universal Music making offers to a house that makes dope, to one called SPM. Suddenly, I go to CD stores and see his posters on the wall, see his face in all the hip-hop magazines, and see his name all over the brownpride.com hip-hop board. Then the controversy hits. Is he ashamed of calling himself "South Park Mexican", has he forgotten where he came from, etc.? Now, I finally get to hear firsthand what the hype is all about!

When I got the assignment to review the disc, my curiosity was peaking. I know I have heard of SPM, back when he was known as South Park Mexican, but I couldn't remember what any of his earlier music sounded like. Then it clicked. SPM, then known as South Park Mexican, had a track on the compilation "Definition of Brown Vol. 2." I went to my closet and dug out the old record. There it was track 13 by South Park Mexican "He's Returned". Playing the song again reminded me that I liked it back in the day. Then, I get the new disc Time is Money, which is being distributed by Universal.

First off, the album sleeve looks like a "No Limit Records" cover.  I had to flip the cover over a few times to see if the brownpride.com homies sent the right disc. Sure enough, it was Like "No Limit Records" sleeves, SPM's label "Dope House Records" adorns the inner sleeve with mad advertisements. We find out all about the upcoming releases and mail order merchandise. The cover and inner sleeve, though, are filled with too much stuff. One may need a map so they won't get lost when reading the inner sleeve. Luckily I read the name Baby Beesh on the sleeve. Being a fan of his music, this was a pleasant surprise. And to add the gravy, an album called "Savage Dreams" marked as "coming soon" featuring SPM and Beesh. Picture the possibilities!!!(Guess those advertisements really work).

After hearing the disc for the first time, the word "nigga" stands out.  It's used as much as an Ice Cube record.   I remember Cypress Hill got slack from Latinos when they used it. Unlike Cypress Hill, SPM uses the word frequently. Maybe where SPM grew up, they use that word freely to talk about themselves, but it is still disturbing and very disappointing to hear it so much.  It seemed like he was trying too hard to impress the black and white crowd. However, this "nigga" does rhyme in Spanish throughout the record, which leaves a very confusing image of SPM to me. One image I gather from him screams "I'm brown and proud" and the other screams equally as loud  "I gotta be mainstream to succeed".

On the track "Boys on Da Cut", SPM kicks crime stories. The chorus line might have truth to it: "only p***y mutherf*#@&*rs say that crime don't pay." But with SPM trying to reach "The young and the lost", is he sending a mixed message? The beat is from the classic Eazy-E track "Boyz N' The Hood".    Using this track takes away from SPM's flow.  We've all heard the "Boyz N' The Hood" track before, including Brownside's version "Vatos 'n the Varrio". The track would have benefited from an original beat instead of the sample.

"Medicine" is a sour love story.  The moral of the track is "what goes around, comes around".  SPM gets pretty graphic when he uses his lyrics to describe his anger. This is a dark but very enjoyable track. If you are in the right mindset, the song speaks volumes to you.  SPM's lyrics make you remember about your own "love gone bad" stories and he is very creative in his approach. "My Feria" is a track with no lyrical originality.  This song is SPM's way of bragging to the world that he has made it and has money.  Having heard other major label artists brag like this before, SPM seems like he's trying to fit in.  His target audience, the ones who bought his underground stuff and supported him throughout, might not be able to relate to the lyrics.  With that said, the song is very catchy.  With the right airplay, it could become a huge hit.

SPM has an uneven album, some tracks bump while others get the skip button. But one has to congratulate SPM for making it.  Maybe after SPM gets in the groove and feels his way around a major label, he'll make a dope album from beginning to end.  His skills are there, but they need to be fleshed out.  

Also, SPM has shown maturity that many Artists refuse to do.  It takes heart to announce to the world that "SPM does not represent any gang, set, or color."   Other artists won't make that type of statement because it might hurt record sales.  And with the  "G.R.O Organization" which "is dedicated to helping young kids as well as old kids find something better to do with their time."  SPM is helping all of us grow in this country and our support is necessary to achieve the height that our Brown people are capable of reaching.

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