South Park Mexican
The 3rd Wish: To Rock the World
Dope House Records
Okay, first thing about Carlos Coy, better known to the hustlers and hustlettes of Houston as South Park Mexican, is that he is just a man.
Sure, he may come off like a don, a capo, a Mickey Blue Eyes, but even when he's dropping rhymes on CD, in his videos or in front of thousands of fans, he presents a subliminal vision of himself as one of God's flawed, vulnerable creatures, a human being ultimately looking for repentance and redemption. He's Tony Soprano without the crazy-ass mom.
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SPM soulfully expresses his need to survive and revive most effectively on his latest, The 3rd Wish: To Rock the World. This isn't just SPM's most expressive album yet, it's his most artistic. But don't worry, sports fans, the songs about weed and hustlin' -- and more weed and a lot more hustlin' -- are sprinkled all over this blue-chip baby, but this time the tunes are done with some taste. With the help of his legion of producers (Shadow Ramirez, Happy Perez and Delwin "Mad Reel" Bell, to name a few), SPM coordinates an album in which the musical and lyrical content are given equal time. It's something you haven't heard from a hard-core Houston rapper in quite some time.
SPM choreographs The 3rd Wish as if it's a funked-up ghetto opera, casting himself as the tragic antihero. Though he begins this album with bumping drum machines and pledges to the sticky-icky-icky on "High So High," he doesn't dwell on these banalities too long. By the second tune, "Latin Throne," SPM dons his crown and cape and goes into Hamlet mode. "Man cries if he was blessed with a heart / But I lost mine in the back streets of South Park," he blows, later proclaiming that "the day of the wetback has striked upon thee." From then on, our doomed leader roams throughout his album hard on the outside, soft in the middle.
SPM may throw down harrowing tracks, but some of the best stuff on this album comes from guest artists, who happen to record for Dope House, SPM's label. High-caliber rapper Rasheed splits his verses to the nervous rhythms of "Reminisce" nicely, while Low-G decides to stay true to his Latino brothas and sistas and go Spanish on "Mi Ruka." (Even if you don't know what the hell he's saying, his flow is still engaging.) The best track has got to be "Ballaticians" from the Hillwood Hustlaz. Not only does this song have all the ingredients to make it the most vibrantly original and entertaining Houston rap song of the year, it has more bounce to it than Denise Richards riding a polo pony in a tank top during an earthquake.
But just because SPM's crew throws down hard doesn't mean the main man is slacking. If anything, SPM has gotten more creative lyrically on this album. Is there any other local MC who would've used the theme from Love Story to underscore a rap song, as SPM does on "Land of the Lost"? No way. -- Craig D. Lindsey