Ying Yang Twins
Don't let the radio edit fool you. "Wait," the lead single off Ying Yang Twins' sophomore release, United State of Atlanta, is a surprisingly quiet rap track; its whispered lyrics and minimalist production sound nothing like the duo who blasted trunk-rattling crunk on last year's "Get Low." Granted, the uncensored version jumps right back into the dirty-dirty with crude taunts of "Wait till you see my dick," but throughout USA, Atlanta's Kaine and D-Roc mix up their club bangers with a few redeeming surprises. Raps now include more socially conscious fare, such as the political rants of "Ghetto Classics" and the woes of a student/mom/stripper on "Live Again." Those PSAs are a suspect contrast to the strip-club anthem "Shake," but it's a start. A bigger surprise hides in the list of guest musicians--between Anthony Hamilton and Mike Jones hides an appearance by Maroon 5's Adam Levine. How did they meet? But surprisingly, Levine's vocals blend well with the midtempo bounce on "Live Again." What isn't a surprise is the duo's lyrical ineptitude. Their delivery is still sloppy and repetitive, but at least the guys don't pretend to be poets. They know full well that the catchiness of songs like "The Walk" and "Badd" are what will keep these Twins riding on dubs.