was one of the first artists to be signed to Cash Money Records
. After a series of underground classics, he parted ways with the label. A couple of years later, CMR signed a multi-million dollar deal with Universal and the label's star, Juvenile
, carried the new roster to success whilst Lil Slim receded into the shadows.
Lil Slim lived way out in the 17th Ward
on New Orleans
's western edge in Hollygrove
, a small, lower middle class neighborhood that also was home to Big Boy
(and later, No Limit
) artist, Fiend
. Representing the Apple and Eagle
intersection, he brought his raps to audiences at Club 49
, where he performed alongside UNLV
and Soulja Slim
. One day, Ziggler the Wiggler
introduced them to Mannie Fresh
, a young DJ from the 7th Ward
who'd gained a measurable degree of local fame with rapper Gregory D
. Shortly after, Lil Slim was introduced to Baby
, brothers and co-owners of the fledgling Cash Money Records label. They signed Lil Slim and recorded his first album in Baby's kitchen.
The album was The Game is Cold
(1993). One highlight is "Hoes I U's 2 Sweat." Another is "Bounce Slide Ride," a Bounce classic in the vein of DJ Jimi
and Juvenile's "Bounce for the Juvenile" which name-checked Juvie and echoed his taste for Reeboks
. Lil Slim's style was sing-songy, reggae-informed, repetitive and heavy on chants -- somewhat similar to Pimp Daddy
, UNLV and early Juvenile. One thing that set him apart was his exaggerated Yat
accent, in which the familiar interjection "Ya heard me?" sounded like "Ya hoidz me?" Cash Money was then primarily a Bounce label and a good deal of the lyrics amounted to little more than calling out wards and projects. Expecting lyrical complexity out
of Bounce is missing the point, however, and the album is emphatically danceable. Its Intro and Outro tracks allowed Mannie Fresh to cut snippets of Slim's already sparse prose and make them almost completely abstract.
His sophomore release, Powder Shop
(1994) moved a bit more into a more narrative, Gangsta territory, creating a Gangsta/Bounce hybrid made popular by his labelmates, UNLV. Some of the highlights include "Eagle St. Bounce," "True to the Game" and "Powder Shop," the latter about a heroin operation. Like a lot of early-'90s New Orleans rap, heroin is the drug most often referenced -- which is a bit unsettling, especially when the rest of the rap world was mello
wing with Indo, Chronic and gin 'n' juice. I guess all that dope in the Grunge scene had to come from somewhere. Listening to it now, it's shocking how much Lil Wayne and, even more so, (Young) Turk owe to his sound.