On Top Of Our Game

Artist: Dem Franchize BoyzTitle: On Top Of Our GameRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Brent Woodie

Dem Franchize Boyz (DFB) have made it cool again for rappers to dance and actually look like they are having a good time. Coming from the west side of Atlanta, Dem Franchize Boyz busted onto the hip-hop scene with their hit “White Tees” a couple of years back. Now linked up with Jermaine Dupri, DFB can prove they’re more than a one hit wonder, since their eponymous debut fell into oblivion. With their second effort titled, On Top Of Our Game (So So Def/Virgin), Buddie, Jizzal, Parlae and Pimpin, combine pulsating production with a high octane rhyme style, making it an album tailor made for the clubs.

Starting off the same way they left off, Dem Franchize Boyz lead singles “I Think They Like Me (So So Def Remix),” and “Lean With It, Rock With It,” entertain with its snappy drums and heavy synths. These two cuts prove to be perfect examples of DFB’s talent for marrying catchy hooks over crunk beats, and it gets those haters who claim their style of music is not “Hip-Hop” headed straight to the dance floor. The head nodding “Bricks 4 The High,” featuring Jim Jones and Dame Dash has DFB getting tough over bombing drums and slick synths, making it one of the grittiest heaters on the album.

When Dem Franchize Boyz step out of their “lean with it, rock with it” lane and ramble on about topics dedicated to rims, pimping and cash they fall back into the “stick to what you know best” category. A track like “Give Props,” doesn’t fare well because it unsuccessfully blends their crunk rhymes with a smooth back drop, and it takes them out of their energetic comfort zone. Tracks like “Ridin Rims” and “Stop Callin Me,” also shows the lack of creativity in DFB, and further exemplifies their inability in pushing the envelope lyrically.

Don’t expect anything more than tight production and enjoyable shouted hooks from On Top Of Our Game, because it will only disappoint you. Along with not being able to distinguish between members of the group since no member stands out amongst the others-DFB does provide enough flavor to bring some fun back into Hip-Hop as a collective.