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Da Backwudz: Wood Work

Da Backwudz: Wood Work

Label:Rowdy
Format:Album
Media:CD
Release Date:2006
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Jess Harvell | Posted 5/10/2006

This likable Atlanta pair parked on MTV Jams’ front lawn last summer in a glossy candy-apple-red Hummer blasting their helium-voiced hit “You Gonna Luv Me.” It wasn’t much more than a Kanye-style twitterpate hook hitched to a hydraulic Southern bass groove, but enjoyable singles have been built on a lot less. Why it took almost a year for Wood Work to show up is one of those industry mysteries, but Da Backwudz’s debut album was at least half-worth the wait.

Big Marc and Sho Nuff are cousins from Decatur, Ga., who grew up listening to their parents’ soul records, name-drop Robert Frost in interviews, and who got called the greatest act to come out of Atlanta in a quarter century by producer Dallas Austin, who we’ll just assume momentarily forgot the words “Dungeon” and “Family.” Like a lo-cal DF project, Word Work is half beats that make you make the “whoa” face and half workmanlike crunk.

Tracks like “The World Could Be Yours” follow the “You Gonna Luv Me” template of up-North soul samples over the boom of 808s, which at least gives them a unique spin even if it pisses off Southern partisans. (And “I Don’t Like the Look of It [Oompa]” ditches the Jennifer Holiday LPs for the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory soundtrack.) Neither is set to inherit the Goodie Mob’s crown as a lyricist—and like most rap albums the quality trails off considerably midway through—but their affability on the mic keeps things lighthearted, like a well-read Dem Franchize Boys.

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