by Hobey Echlin
As one of the Detroit bass scene's heaviest hitters (DJ Assault is the other), DJ Godfather (Brian Jeffries) churns out the hookiest booty tracks you've heard on all the radio mix shows (without knowing who penned them). On this debut full-length, Jeffries lets us know, compiling his best singles, from the summer '98 anthem title track, with its pitch-bending elastic bass line hook -- here offered in full verse-chorus rap-song form with double-time rhymes supplied by Players Only's Coon Daddy -- to his 1996 release "Pump," with its "ooh we gonna rock baby" chant and can't-miss compressed breakbeat boom. As an album, Player Haters is everything great and terrible about Detroit ghetto bass. What's great is that all the Godfather club favorites are here, ("All The Players Represent (Who U Wit?)," etc.) and that Jeffries shows range beyond just ghetto formulas: "C U No Mo" crosses the line into hard house without losing its ghetto feel, while "Fly Skinnies" takes a Beasties vocal snippet and mixes it with a chunk of P-Funk's "Knee Deep" for a track that only a skillful -- and clever -- deejay could produce.
What's terrible is the macho, borderline misogyny of "Whatchulookinat?" (Bitch whatchulookinat/ ho whatchulookinat) and the between-song porno movie sound bites that dumb things down. More radio-friendly tracks, like the booty-calling "Page U 304," are noble, if failed attempts: all the ingredients are there, but as songs, they sound more like "Player Haters"-lite, arbitrary hooks and as-arbitrary choruses.
To his credit, though, Jeffries has enlisted Trick Daddy from Goon Squad to supply between-song skits -- his intro to "ADC Loot" is so funny HBO's Mr. Show is considering basing a skit around it -- and a final mega-mix that makes Player Haters hang together as a full album of songs that have life beyond their usual mix-show snippets. As such, Godfather shows he can take booty beyond the ghetto while reminding us just why it's called "ghetto" in the first place.