Like overweight businessmen, this album belongs in a strip club. It shouldn’t really...
Alex Forster 2007
Relating to a sound so firmly rooted in the bass bins of Atlantian strip clubs is difficult. So I’m glad Ying Yang Twins spell it out for me. Like 2 Live Crew, whose Miami bass sound informs a majority of the tracks on Chemically Imbalanced, the female form is not so much a recurrent theme in the Twins’ 5th album, as a war cry.
Though Kaine and D-Roc may look like ZZ Top packing baby oil, they're no fools. Sticking to the formula that has made them platinum-selling rappers, the first half of the album is straight-up crunk, as long-time collaborator Mr Collipark states in the intro, 'for diehard fans'. All liquor, weed, clubs and 'ho-downs' - the sort not involving barns, for those at the back.
‘'1st Booty On Duty'’ revisits the seductive half-speed electro of grammy-nominated ‘'Wait'’ (standout track from the duo’s last album), comprised solely of sustained 808 kick drum and rumbling bass. A production sound so polished, you would be forgiven for thinking it was Mr Sheen behind the desk not Mr Collipark. Second single ‘'Jigglin''’ starts with a hypnotic vocal not disimiliar to Rick Ross’s ‘'Hustlin'’, but fails to stimulate past the reach for the skip button. As the relief sets in that ‘Smoke Break Skit’ isn’t the sort of thing Wu Tang Clan did 10 years ago, ‘'Collard Greens'’ comes in, rolling along on the same stuttering hi-hat that made 36 Mafia’s ‘'Stay Fly'’ so infectious. The duo’s southern drawl sits pretty underneath ominous church bells and piano: 'Till death do us part, Mary (Jane) got my heart', for the first time the duo not rapping about women.
The second half is a departure from the southern rap template. Predominantly produced by Wyclef Jean, early 80s electro rap and percussive world music influences serve as much needed sonic relief. ‘'Water'’ rides along nicely on a sample from ‘'Apache'’, while the upbeat ‘'Leave'’ offers the only real glimpse of experimentation on the album.
Just in case you thought the ‘Twins were going soft, they reassure us that their hearts are still firmly in the gentlemens' club, with the last two tracks, '‘Open’' and ‘'In This Thang Still'’.
Like overweight businessmen, this album belongs in a strip club. It shouldn’t really be allowed anywhere else.