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DJ Scream: Only the Crunk Survive 12: Kings of Snap Edition

DJ Scream: Only the Crunk Survive 12: Kings of Snap Edition

Label:DJ Scream
Release Date:2006

Dem Franchize Boys play the 1st Marnier Arena Aug. 25.

By Jess Harvell | Posted 8/23/2006

Two or three long, hot summers ago, when Crime Mobís "Knuck if You Buck" and Dem Franchize Boysí "White Tee" first made their way up North still caked with the red clay from behind Atlantaís Poole Palace, they seemed to flaunt every convention of "good hip-hop." But when D4Lís "Laffy Taffy" became a download sensation last winter--provoking delight and disgust in equal measure--snap music, as this stuff had come to be known, could no longer be denied. Now D4Lís DJ Scream collects 28 snap tracks on the 12th installment of his Only the Crunk Survive, the kind of essential mixtape that only comes around once a summer.

Snap is economic music. The songs feel like games of reductionist one-upmanship, kids seeing who can make the hottest beat out of fewest sounds: finger snaps instead of fat drums, melodies that sound like the demonstration patterns that come pre-loaded on keyboards. D4Lís "Betcha Canít Do It Like Me" turns positively baroque with the addition of a second four-note hook. A crappy monophonic ringtone of "White Tee" sounds about the same as the actual song. Itís pop for 21st-century delivery media like cell phones, earbuds, and tinny PC speakers, the bass mixed so low that it only comes to life at the club, like a middle finger repeatedly thrust very hard into your ear.

Like old-school rock íní roll, snap tracks are often about nothing but themselves or the dances you do to them. Itís pointless grumbling that the lyrics are dumb or these cats have no flow. In the context of snap, a "yeeeeeah" or "whaaaaat" or catch phrase as insidious as Dem Franchize Boysí "Lean Wit It, Roc Wit It" speaks a million words. Tracks like Trap Squadís "Whatís Hannanin?" are chant-raps designed to be picked up after one listen. But call snap music "simple" at your own peril; this hour-plus mix enacts a spare, body-popping, limb-locking hypnosis with just four or five simple cogs moving with Swiss precision.

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