Candell Manson, who’s rap moniker Candyman is derived from a combination of his first and last name (how clever) is a west coast rapper who experienced his 15 minutes of fame back in 1990. Candell was introduced to Dr. Dre by a mutual friend Sir Jinx (of the Lench Mob), which led to him producing a three song demo for the good doctor (which I would be very interested in hearing if anyone out there in cyber land has a copy). From there Candell went on to work with fellow left coast rapper Tone-Loc and release an ep Hip-Hop Addict that only he and his mama ever heard. Candell would soon expand his fan base after inking a deal with Epic and releasing his major label debut Ain’t No Shame In My Game in 1990. Candyman (along with friend Johnny “J” and, the Candyland band) would produce every track on Ain’t No Shame In My Game, which would eventually go on to earn Candy a gold plaque. Epic did allow Candy to release a sophomore effort (Playtime Is Over), which failed miserably, subsequently hurling Candell to the obscure world of independent releases and ending his 15 minutes of fame at 9 minutes and 54 seconds.
Now, don’t get it twisted. Candyman worked with Dr. Dre, but Ain’t No Shame In My Game is nowhere near being a gangsta rap album or even remotely hardcore. Instead, Candell chose to take a gentler approach and focused on the ladies. And if you haven’t noticed I don’t menstruate or wear heels.
But there were a few songs I remember liking, if only a little bit. Plus it was only a dollar, so what the heck.
Ain’t No Shame In My Game (Intro) – Sounds like a poor man’s poor man’s take on the game show skit De La Soul’s used throughout their debut Three Feet High And Rising, only it completely sucked.
Candyman – This one starts out accapella with a female vocalist (who can actually sing)singing cappella before the instrumental drops and Candyman begins his quest to gain a larger following of fans in heels than LL. Although the vocalist can sing the chorus begins to grade on the ears as she continuously begs Candyman to be her sugardaddy. At least when LL decided to sell out he had charisma that ladies would actually be attracted to.
Don’t Leave Home Without It – This is a public service announcement. Candyman spends three verses explaining to the listener the importance of using protection (specifically in the form of a condom) to avoid STDs and having blind illegitimate kids with an overweight crack smoking baby mama infected with syphilis. Don’t you hate when that happens? Candyman’s flow is suspect but the instrumental was decent. I thought vocal sample used during the hook was pretty clever as well.
Knockin’ Boots – This was Candyman’s first single and only hit (if only a mild one). Tone Loc opens this one up informing the listener right off the bat that this is dedicated to the ladies, so you can’t be mad if you’re disappointed after choosing to stick around and listen after the warning was issued. I’m somewhat of a puppy dog when it comes to my hip-hop, so I personally enjoyed Candyman’s
soft laidback instrumental, more so than his cheesy lyrical contribution. At least his flow sounds better than it did on the previous two songs, and he might have actually managed to impress a few ladies with this one.
Melt In Your Mouth – This was the second single released from Ain’t No Shame In My Game, to let his would be victims know the Candyman’s order of operation: after he knocks your boots, he’s gonna melt in your mouth. How romantic. Candy shows he has a sense of humor as he starts this one out by dedicating it to “all the suckas out there who thought he was soft when he dropped Knockin’ Boots”, before he let’s the listener know this one is actually for the ladies as well (in a genre where artist take themselves way too serious, it’s refreshing to hear a guy poke fun at himself). I absolutely hate when rappers repeat the same verse in a song, and our host is guilty of that sin on this one. The instrumental was enjoyable in the same puppy dog manner as the previous song, which Candyman tends to sound right at home over.
Playin’ On Me – I really like Candyman’s instrumental on this tale of two lovers who catch each other cheating. The added horns and Ice Cube vocal sample during the hook were a nice touch too.
Today’s Topic – After a pointless skit that includes an interview with a few imaginary emcees, Candyman, for the first time of the evening, deviates away from his favorite pastime, to defend his hip-hop brethren’s collective freedom of speech. You may have forgotten, but their was a time in hip-hop that rappers lyrical content was under intense scrutiny, which when compared to the stuff these kids spew out nowadays, 2 Live Crew’s raunchiest song could go on a Disney movie soundtrack. This was far from great but it was a nice change of pace.
The Mack Is Back – Candyman should never rap over uptempo instrumentals. Never again in life. It’s bad enough he sounds like he’s reading from a script, but to add insult to injury he has no breath control. On the bright side, if you own this album and were planning on making sloppy joes, you can save yourself a few bucks by substituting the manwich mix with Candyman’s flow on this one. It’s going to be a challenge listening to the rest of this one (*sigh*).
Nightgown – Shoot me now. Please?
Who Shakes The Best – Candyman and crew take on the old school girl bit/game of the same name and make a rap song out of it. Yeah, it sounds worst than it…sounds.
Keep On Watcha Doin’ – Pretty please?
5 Verses Of Def – I remember loving this song back in the day, when I would listen to my brother’s cassette version of Ain’t No Shame In My Game (and probably the only reason I spend a buck on this crap in the first place). While Candyman sounds several degrees better than he did on the majority of Ain’t No Shame In My Game (or maybe he just sounds better because I know this is the final song and I’m almost done with this dreadful assignment) the real reason I dug this one back in the day was for the instrumental, which still sounds good today. I’m still trying to figure out the meaning of the song title since he only spits two verses. Then again, who cares. This one is a wrap.
Dude, that was painful. I remember at least partial enjoying a few of the songs on Ain’t No Shame In My Game, largely do to Candy’s instrumentals (which with a tweak here and there, I believe he could have parlayed it into a successful production career). Those same few instrumentals are still enjoyable, but his lack of charisma and unpolished rhyming ability leaves a huge void that I was able to overlook in my adolescence but my adult mind won’t allow. But hey, I’ve blown a dollar on worst.