Artist: Crime MobTitle: Hated On MostlyRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Paine
As Lil' Jon reportedly is incorporating Rock music into his music, it may fall on Crime Mob to uphold the Crunk party that they helped kick off in 2004. The co-ed quintet went from teenagers to 20-somethings since their last album, and Hated on Mostly (BME/Reprise) may bathe in immature bragging rights, but the music needs no ID to show its credibility. The lyrics aren't deep, but the bass blasts will make you get low.
"All Madden" shows the group's age, relating a video game reference to street credibility. Though the lyrics are laughable, the synthesized bassline plays like the ultimate horror film score. "2nd Look" is an attempt at another fight starter, daring strangers to double-take. However, this is no "Knuck if You Buck," with "I read n***as like a comic book" in its tired chorus. To boot, Diamond's lyrics are nearly inaudible due to poor mixing. "Circles," a revealing track about each member of the group's relationship drama shows the uniqueness of having both male and female perspective.
With Lil' J handling a bulk of the production, Crime Mob's appeal lies in their beats. Most of the choruses lack that hit-making appeal. While the beats have their charm, the group sounds rushed with many of their concepts and call-outs, unaware of the advances made by the Unks and Rich Boys since 2004. "Circles" is the one advancement in Crime Mob's sound. With a chirped up sample, the volume is faded, still upholding the traditionally hard percussion. Among the group, Lil' J's abilities appear to have developed the most, as the other members still supply mediocre lyrics.
Crunk will always have its audience and appreciation. However, as Crime Mob verged on pop success in 2004, this album falls a bit short of that, staying in its niche. Without the ability to rely on catchy choruses, Hated on Mostly may live up to its name from radio. With the exception of T.I.'s reign, Atlanta's completely changed since Crime Mob appeared, and the group may've been too buried in the studio to adapt.