Artist: YoungbloodzTitle: Drankin’ PatnazRating: 2 StarsReviewed by: Paine
In the late 90’s, it was hard to trace much of the southern bounce sound
back to real hip-hop. While the Dungeon Family, Odd Squad, and Geto Boys have
always done it, it had been a minute since a newer group appealed. The
Youngbloodz, like A.I., were the answer. Their debut, Against Da Grain was a stellar
album led by “85” featuring Outkast. The ‘Bloodz are back with a follow-up, on
a different label (So So Def), and a reworked sound.
While content may not have been the Youngbloodz’ strongest claim, they
managed to make an interesting album the first time around. This time, on
Drankin’ Patnaz, the content is no more original than the album title. While J-Bo
and Sean Paul (not the reggae guy) still provide great elements of voice and bold delivery, they
have nothing to say. The lead single, “Cadillac Pimpin'” affirms that, consisting only of a
club-minded hook and a catchy beat. While “85” was a gliding track
about cruising on a southern night, the ‘Bloodz provided a dismal sequel effort,
“Lane to Lane.” This track is supposed to be a storytelling track about the
sights of the road. While it’s one of the album’s stronger cuts, it doesn’t add
up to what the ‘Bloodz were capable of in ’99. The best element of the
Youngbloodz is their delivery. The title track is a classic example of deep throated
Atlanta spitting. Despite the strong sounding verses, there isn’t a worthwhile
hook or chorus on this album.
While Jazze Pha and Lil’ Jon each contributed some guest production, the
best production of the album comes from the group’s in-house, Mark Twayne and
Trackboyz. “Hustle”, a track featuring Killer Mike has a really interesting
rocking beat. The drums are slowed down, and the synthesizers are just dumped on
to create a unique sound. Still, most of the productions are anticlimactic.
For a low-content record, one would certainly expect juiced up beats.
All together, this album is very lackluster. While it’s not terrible,
this still isn’t the album to be expected from such a dynamic group the last time
’round. Equally, as groups like Field Mob and Nappy Roots continue to justify
southern music with stronger content and more interesting presentation, the
‘Bloodz need to kick it in gear and analyze what made Against Da Grain so hot.