Artist: Yung JocTitle: New Joc CityRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Jesse Fairfax
The South's recent foothold on the prevailing sound of the culture continues bringing fresh faces to the game. Atlanta in particular has been a hotbed with so many acts putting their own spin on rap music from crunk, to pimping, to the more innovative styling of Outkast and the current snap phenomenon. Yung Joc is the city's latest hopeful, brought in by Block Entertainment (known for Boyz N Da Hood) and co-signed by Diddys Bad Boy South. New Joc City (Bad Boy/Atlantic) is his entrance as he is determined to make a name for himself in the already crowded scene.
The album starts with a creative movie themed intro bearing its title, from there the bright moments are few and far in between. The lead single, the ubiquitous "It's Goin' Down" has the repetitive keyboard sound popularized long ago, and is only one of many instances with stagnant originality. "Do Ya Bad" finds Joc taking Juvenile's sing-song flow, "Don't Play Wit It" has him reworking the hook from David Banner's "Play" into a more threatening song. "Dope Boy Magic" is more of the same drug tales that artists can't get enough of bringing to listeners.
While catering to the streets, most of today's rappers also stick to the formula of making songs for women. As with almost anyone else, the results of Yung Joc's attempts to reach the ladies are less than stellar. "Flip Flop" details the pursuit of girls while in his car, "1st Time" is about women choosing to lay down and engage in "relations" with Joc and "Knock It Out" is nothing more than a faster version of the same. The only differentiation from partying, women and thugging comes in the form of "Picture Perfect", the cliché closing introspective record.
Although a worthwhile soundtrack for ATL's current leaning and rocking atmosphere, we've heard New Joc City done better before. As a rapper Yung Joc has personality, just not one of his own. He seems content with mediocrity and doesnt make an enjoyable experience for Southern rap fans residing outside of "The A". Let's hope he develops stronger concepts and a distinctive voice if hes to be more than a fly by night sensation.