Yung Berg: Almost Famous

After a few false starts on DMX’s Bloodline label and as a hype man for Disturbing Tha Peace, Chicago’s Yung Berg steps out on his own with Almost Famous: The Sexy Lady EP (Epic), a six-song preview of his full-length debut Look What You Made Me, due out next month. Berg has already seen some success with this album/EP’s eponymous first single, but if this EP is any indication, he still has some work to do before he’ll have officially “made it.”The title track is performing reasonably well on radio with its accessible sound. “Sexy Lady” is, well…what it is. Not quite a full-fledged “club banger,” it’s more like the warm-up song that comes on before to get people moving a little bit. That’s not to say that “Sexy Lady” is bad; it’s just typical Hip-Pop. It’s not quite as abrasively silly as something like “Lip Gloss” or “Laffy Taffy” but doesn’t quite pack enough charisma to make up for the lack in depth. Jim Jones (rap’s poster child for “getting by on personality”) shows up with Rich Boy for the remix; the guests spice things up a bit, but it’s still essentially the same okay record. The rest of the EP is somewhat better but still suffers from the same issue. Twista stops by for a verse on “Where Do We Go;” as usual, Twista inspires his collaborator to adopt a faster flow and as usual, Twista shows them up. “Into It” helps make things a bit more interesting with a slightly grittier beat, but once again, the song is competent but ultimately forgettable. Berg’s style takes the most popular elements from every region for material that could work anywhere but therefore doesn’t sound like anything specific.When aiming for “crossover,” it’s easy to miss the mark and land on “stupid” instead. Yung Berg does deserve credit for Almost Famous not being as bad as it easily could’ve been, but he still needs some work to be more than just another rapper with a typical flow and everyday lyrics. When Burg’s full length album hits in a few weeks, there’s a chance that the added tracks will round this out into a decent album, but something will have to be added that makes him stand out from the army of similar new artists who are fighting for the same few slots.