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Mista Thug Isolation

by Lil Ugly Mane

Released February 11, 2012

Reviewed February 3, 2022

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Bitch I’m Lugubrious (40%), Serious Shit (35%), Throw Dem Gunz (33%)

The underground hip-hop landscape of the 2010's beamed with creative spirits, with Lil Ugly Mane being among the names that crop up from this specific place and time. Mista Thug Isolation is what most would refer to as his magnum opus and the record that best represents his quality and all-round stylistic facets. Ugly Mane's use of strings adds a sense of class, while he himself says the most heinous of things, a dichotomy of the highest order indeed. It's as if Mozart took a trip to the underworld and found his true calling. Tying into the Memphis rap scene in which Three 6 Mafia pioneered and influenced, Mista Thug Isolation is a record of despair and lost cause. Sinister in essence, it does an incredible job of painting pictures of the darker, more demonic side of life, while leaving room for a hedonistic track or two. – Peter (8/10)

Mista Thug Isolation is Lil Ugly Mane’s final phase of transcendence from punk and noise band member to solo act rap underlord; while Ugly Mane’s wordsmithing and beat making skills are well taken, it’s his underwhelming sense of charisma that sinks this revered cult classic into mediocrity. The album opens as scorching hot as it ever gets, with a beautiful jazz tune quickly turning to Memphis rap at a moment’s notice. Ugly Mane’s vocals arrive, screwed up and syrupy, oozing swagger with a hardcore edge. Opening bars like “I’ma slit my wrist, no tourniquet / I’m murderous / My crib got - more burners than furnishings” are as good as they get. “Serious Shit” stands out, largely because Mista Thug Isolation loses this balance of intensity, personality, and finesse from this point forward. Whether it be the tremendously unamusing sex tales of a song like “Slick Rick,” or the overproduction that renders songs like “Cup Fulla Beetlejuice” and “Lookin 4 Tha Suckin” less impactful than they ought to be, Mista Thug Isolation is fairly blemished despite its otherwise impressive complexion. And, while Ugly Mane’s feel for Memphis rap is impressive at times, Mista Thug Isolation feels to be a bit of an experimental cosplay on the hip-hop subgenre, that both furthers and debases it in the end. – DeVán (6.5/10)

Hadley: 9.5/10 | Jared: 9.5/10 | Cam: 9.3/10 | Ben (Synth): 8/10

Peter: 8/10 | Dominick: 7.5/10 | DeVán: 6.5/10


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