Review: Lil O – My Struggle, My Hustle

Lil O’s My Struggle, My Hustle was his debut album that was supposed to be released on MCA Records back in 1997 but was never released due to label politics and business decisions. MCA Records did not know how to a market an artist from Houston, Texas. My Struggle, My Hustle was supposed to be released before Blood Money but was never released until 2006 as a 2 disc set on CD. These are the “Lost Tapes” as he calls it. The album has a rap and soul combination.

Can’t Stop discusses how Lil O can’t stop hustling and grinding. He’s the man that won’t give up on the paper chase for wealth. See survival ain’t no joke. He would rather be dead than to live his whole life broke without any money. Motivation is what drives him.

Grizz produced Can’t Stop. Grizz and Lil O chose to sample Loose Ends – Hanging On a String for the Can’t Stop track. Can’t Stop samples Loose Ends – Hanging On a String. The original Destiny’s Child (Beyoncé, Kelly, Latoya, and Latavia) performed on the track and single. Beyoncé sang the hook. Her lead stands out especially on the hook. Not many people think about this but Lil O was and still is the first African person to ever record a track with Beyoncé. This is real H-Town music.

Can’t Stop was Lil O’s debut single which became an instant local hit charting at #22 on the US Rap Charts and #67 on the US R&B Charts in 1997. Vocal contributions from Destiny’s Child helped make the single become a hit.

The track is memorable due to relying heavily on the sample of Loose Ends – Hanging On a String. The beats produced by Grizz made the song memorable. Beyoncé’s lead is what also made the track memorable.

Some people may remember the lyrics to the chorus which went as follows:

Can’t stop, playa I refuse to lose
Shed many tears over years, see I paid my dues
I won’t stop, see survival ain’t no joke
Cause I’d rather be dead, than live my whole life broke

Lil O is looking for the person who snitched on him about his illegal criminal activity to law enforcement. That is what Who’s Snitchin is about. The track is aimed at snitches who informs law enforcement about illegal activities while committing crimes with the people they dime out. The track features UGK.

Pimp C is gripping the grain and playing with candy toys He stays strapped with the heat Boys is talking down but he’s still busting for his. Pimp C back on the streets to claim his rightful place of top gun of these streets. Now they planning the Sweet, and Now the motherfucking FED’s tapped his phone with help from the police in Port Arthur. This means some on snitched on Pimp C. Someone is snitching to the laws about his activities. Who’s snitching? Man fuck them niggas telling on him. The police in Port Arthur hate Pimp C’s guts. They try to set us up but Pimp C never does budge.

Ain’t no time for no haters being all in our mix cause we trying to get rich. Let’s hang that snitch and ave them sleeping with the fish for fucking over the click. Shoot their ass full of bullet.

Rags 2 Riches is about how Lil O came from being broke to having wealth. DJ Screw, Fat Pat, and Yungstar makes appearances on the track. The track uses a laid back smooth gangster vibe and sound. We deep down here in the South. Putting it down. Know I’m saying? Rags 2 Riches came from his album My Struggle, My Hustle and was used on Blood Money.

Lil O united the South Side and North Side on this track by getting rappers from different sides of Houston together on one track. There was intense beef between the South Side and North Side of Houston during that the time. Basically a big city rivalry. That is what stands out about this particular Lil O track.

DJ Screw performs a bit of spoken word at the beginning. He is what he said.

(DJ Screw talking)
Ha-ha, boys ain’t gon like this know I’m saying
Houston Texas, Screwed Up Click
Bar None Click what’s up Lil’ O, Fat Pat
(Yungstar), know I’m saying we deep down here in the South
Putting it down know I’m saying, let y’all boys know the real

The track Rags 2 Riches is known for Yungstar’s catchy hook which goes:

[Hook: Yungstar – 2x]
It’s like rags to riches, Cadillacs and bitches
Champagne in the club, acting bad taking pictures
Strapped at all times, cause these haters wanna kill us
Hundred dollar billers, trying to stack seven figgas

Lil O is Gucci shaded up with a plated up big Benz. That is what the lyrics, “I’m Gucci shaded up, big Benz plated up” People realize that Lil O went from being broke to having wealth by grinding and selling drugs. But his life is still strenuous. The average hustler would faint knowing how Lil O’s life really is. Even his darkest hour he manages to prosper.

These lyrics clearly indicate that Lil O came up from rags to riches.

Boppers looking like what, man this boy done came up
But my life still strenuous, the average hustler would faint
But even in my darkest hour, I shine like candy paint

Lil O hits the freeway sipping codeine. He is out of dank. So gets some more lean. He is so clean from having his clothing starched and ironed. So you know his pockets are full of green. Lil O has the Cadillacs and bitches. Lil O stays trapped at all times because these haters want to kill to him. He is trying to stack seven figures which are millions.

DJ Screw performs a bit of spoken word at the end. He is what he said.

(DJ Screw talking)
Know I’m saying, this how it’s going down
Riding on you punk bitches and snitches
Out for our riches, know I’m saying
H-Town Texas, feel us, Screwed Up baby fo’ life
Everyday and all day, Southsi’ for li’

I rate this album 5/5*****!!

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Writer, narrator, researcher, and content curator for Bout Dat Online.

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