Chingy: Jackpot

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Album: Jackpot
Label: Disturbing Tha Peace
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Album: Jackpot
Label: Disturbing Tha Peace

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Like fellow St. Louis resident Nelly, Chingy has catapulted from unknown to ubiquitous on the strength of an infectious single. Also like Nelly, Chingy slurs his R's together in a way that screams regional pride: If the new Jackpot were an episode of Sesame Street, it would be sponsored by the letter R, as song titles like "He's Herre," "Right Thurr," and "Wurrs My Cash" readily attest. Such a goofy gimmick might seem inconsequential, but when aiming for pop charts and platinum, as Jackpot unabashedly does, style invariably trumps substance. Accordingly, Chingy's countrified delivery and infectious chant-along hooks go a long way toward setting him apart from folks with just as little to say and far sorrier Soundscan numbers. Of course, he's got another huge commercial advantage, having already achieved success-by-association through his affiliation with Ludacris' Disturbing Tha Peace posse. It's telling that Chingy has hooked up with a southern clique, as his style is more southern than East Coast, and more country than cosmopolitan. Sonically, Jackpot–which was produced almost entirely by the newcomers in Track Starz, with a single assist from DJ Quik–is packed with busy synthesizers and the clattering drums that helped make Mannie Fresh a Cash Money multi-millionaire. Appropriate for an album called Jackpot, Chingy's debut sounds like the rap equivalent of Las Vegas: flashy, sleazy, and awash in guilty pleasures. Chingy exudes enough star quality that when Ludacris and Snoop Dogg pop up on "Holidae In," it seems less like two icons helping out a scrappy newcomer than like a collaboration among three bona fide superstars.

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