Cash Money Records co-owner Baby loves to "ball like a dog." But listening to him detail his flashy lifestyle–the "cars, the rims, the bucks/live this life like you don’t give a fuck"–over 22 tracks on "Birdman" becomes sickening.

Knowing this, Baby’s backed by the best producers and rappers money can buy. New Cash Money producer Jazze Pha composes juicy, synthesized slabs of Southern funk with smackin’ drums on tracks like "Do That ..." with P. Diddy featuring Mannie Fresh and Tateeze. The Neptunes program another hit on the eerie, conga-crazed "What Happened To That Boy" with The Clipse.

Not every guest pulls their weight. Jermaine Dupri throws together an unoriginal Neptunes-like track on "How It Be," right down to the drums and punchy bass blasts. Mix the above with a forgettable TQ hook and Baby and J.D.’s boring, possession-filled rhymes and you can just press skip. Toni Braxton adds nothing to the ’70s-sampled, made-for-radio "Baby You Can Do It," except letting the listener know that she likes to get paid.

And that’s the problem with Birdman. Everyone’s getting paid for making mediocre, take-no-chances music. It sounds good, but nothing new is being said lyrically. Baby should take notes from fellow music millionaires P. Diddy and Dr. Dre and employ a ghostwriter. "Never Had Nothin’" has a glimmer of originality; Baby speaks with emotion about the government trying to "tear down the projects" and his hard times growing up, but he’s unwilling or unable to give clear details, like Southern hip-hop legend Scarface.

I guess detailing Baby’s present lavishness is easier than detailing his poverty-filled past. And that’s a shame.

Grade: C