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Boyz N Da Hood: Boyz N Da Hood

Boyz N Da Hood: Boyz N Da Hood

Label:Bad Boy
Genre:Hip Hop/Rap

By Tom Breihan | Posted 8/10/2005

Ever since rap producers realized that they could charge $100,00 for hot beats, mainstream hip-hop albums have been terrible. Every album becomes a tremendous investment, and rappers work to have all their bases covered: the love song, the club song, the hard-core street track. The result is usually a patchy, schizophrenic mess.

The self-titled debut album from the Atlanta supergroup Boyz N Da Hood doesn’t have that problem. The album is organized around a simple concept: four of Atlanta’s best mix-tape MCs get together to talk about how good they are at dealing drugs. That’s it. It works because every member of the group plays his role to perfection. Jody Breeze is the slippery young guy, weaving in and out of the beat, running circles around older rappers just to make them look like fools. Big Duke is the wily, tired old veteran, years of struggling right there in his voice like he was Johnny Cash. Big Gee is the authoritative thug with the booming Scarface preacher baritone. And Young Jeezy is the cocky rising star, aware every eye in the room is on him, following up every punch line with a long, drawn-out exhortation (“Yeeeeeeaaaaah!”).

A full hour of drug-dealing songs is a lot, but the album falters whenever they step outside their strengths—though the album’s simplicity and its stars’ skills make for an enthralling record. When Jeezy and Breeze trade lines on “Trap Niggaz,” Jeezy playing the older dealer urging young protégé Breeze to move on the corner slowly and cautiously, it’s The Wire for the radio, as fascinating as it is socially irresponsible.

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