During this particular moment in No Limit history, Master P’s once unshakeable empire was finding itself on shaky ground. They were still selling records, but some of their more talented soldiers had already jumped ship (Mr. Serv-On, Fiend, Mia X, Kane and Abel, and Big Ed, just to name a few) and a few would leave soon following Only God Can Judge Me’s release (Mystikal, for example). P didn’t know it yet, but he was in a lot of trouble.
P had announced his retirement from rapping a year earlier with the release of MP Da Last Don, a double-disc album that received decidedly mixed reviews. I’m sure about two people believed that P would retire for good, and the product that stems from his return is Only God Can Judge Me. Panned even more by critics than his previous release, it has been called, arguably, the worst album culled from P’s lengthy career.
This is also the first of P’s “floss” albums. In order to keep up with the Joneses, P. Miller steadily moves away from the darker sounds of the likes of Ghetto D and focuses more on flossing and balling. There are a plethora of harder-edged gangsta numbers to be found throughout the record’s 23 tracks, as well as introspective joints, but there are also a good number of tracks aimed at the clubs and other such mainstream-oriented material.
This resulted in the loss of P’s core audience, but it never really garnered him much acceptance in other circles as he probably would have liked, either. Everything else remains very much the same; borrowed hooks, cheap beats (although they are provided by different producers because, by this time, Beats by the Pound had left the label as well) and poorly written rhymes. But no matter how cookie-cutter the album is, it remains one of Master P’s most underrated works to date.
Immediately noticeable, though, is P’s over-reliance on standard club jams and typical mainstream topic matter. Tracks such as the rabble-rousing “Step to Dis,” which featured newly signed No Limit soldier D.I.G., just doesn’t seem characteristic of the P that long-time No Limit fans grew to respect. Even “Say Brah,” which guests Mac (and also contains an excellent verse from him), isn’t anything special. It seems more akin to something fellow Dirty South representatives Cash Money would have released right around this particular time; production and all. Even more cookie-cutter and clichéd is “Ice on My Wrist (Remix)” which was shamelessly jiggy and sounded even more like a Cash Money carbon-copy than I’m sure P anticipated.