Back to the Zoo – Gorilla Zoe

Zoo

01. Do Something
02. Hood Nigga
03. Money Man
04. Tryna Make a Jug
05. Crack Muzik (This That Musik)
06. Battle Field
07. Take Your Shoes Off
08. I Know
09. Count On Me
10. Real Motherfucka
11. Juice Box
12. Money Up
13. You Don’t Know Me
14. Lil Shawty
15. Last Time I Checked

I was first introduced to Atlanta native Gorilla Zoe through his first single Hood Nigga, which has been one of the better Southern Hip-Hop raps to be released this year. It featured skillful wordplay over a bouncy yet bass-thumping beat. Gorilla Zoe before this if you didn’t know, was pegged to fill the spot in Boyz n The Hood vacated by Young Jeezy. Hard shoes to fill being that Young Jeezy was the favorite coupled with his going on to have two platinum solo releases. With no other preconceived notions about Zoe other than his first single and the aforementioned, I went into listening to Welcome to the Zoo with high expectations.

The first track begins with Zoe doing his best Steve Irwin impression. He intros the album and first song Do Something with him on some sort of safari hunt that ends with his killing something or other. Once the killing is done he asks “Whose your favorite rapper now?” Not sure who this is in reference to, but the game doesn’t need any more beef. Do Something features a crunk track demanding that if your tough – “Do Something!.” Hood Nigga is definitely the hardest joint on the album, listen and you’ll see why. Money Man features the usual dope boy Atlanta slang with lines like ”Fergalicious*/ she’s jumping out the pan.” What the game needs, more Southern dopeboy crack talk. (*He’s referring to crack/cocaine when he mentions white pop singers. e.g. CTE “White Girl” whose hook says: “I keep that white girl/ Christina Aquelera…”) I say stop telling the Feds your code words. Battlefield’s yet another hard verse from Zoe and good production, though the Roger Troutman (pardon me T- Pain for the youngsters) sounding reggae chorus is annoying. Take Your Shoes Off is a well-constructed song that has Zoe announcing the virtues of his ride. Count on Me just could not be listened due to this singing chorus. On the chorus to Real Motherfucker Zoe does his best Ja Rule impression. The Young Joc assisted Juice Box (referring to the ladies vagina) is a good sounding song but is strictly FORMULA FILLER, with the following falling under that category Tryna Make a Jug, Money Up, You Don’t Know Me and Lil Shawty. The final song Last Time I Checked is a Dr. Dre-like track where Zoe gets it in lyrically, calling out fake rappers that become Hollywood in where they live and in their behavior. The album has features on more than half the songs, which consists of Young Joc and various members of Boyz n The Hood in pretty uneventful fashion.

Though I was entertained by this effort there was absolutely nothing new and or original here, sad to say. What barely gets him over on these verses are his knack for jumping aggressively onto tracks, which is evident on the first half of the album. But with his lack of content, growling on tracks only get him but so far. Can Gorilla Zoe rap isn’t the question, it’s whether or not he just wants to get paid or does he want longevity. This album is leaning towards the getting paid route with just unoriginal material.

2 Responses to “Back to the Zoo – Gorilla Zoe”

  1. S. Mathis Says:
    October 18th, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    The album cover alone disqualifies this album from being worthy of my critical ear.

  2. Uno McFly Says:
    October 20th, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    kinda looks like Cube…anywhoo off to watch The office ( with Ricky Gervais) and u know be uppity and shit.

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