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Presidentz of Jupiter

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When a hip-hop album has a title like Residents of Jupiter, it's easy to assume that you'll be getting some type of synth-powered space rap along the lines of West Coast electro-hop (as in the Egyptian Lover, the Arabian Prince, the Unknown DJ, and the World Class Wreckin' Cru), Newcleus, the Jonzun Crew, Twilight 22, or Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rap" (the seminal 1982 classic that wrote the book on the whole space rap craze of the '80s). Sci-fi-themed hip-hop had gone out of style by the time the '90s rolled around, but could it be that C.B.Y.A. are an electro revival group or an exercise in '80s nostalgia? The answer is a definite "no." Despite its sci-fi-themed title and sci-fi-themed art work, this 2009 release is not electro, but rather, Dirty South rap with a strong crunk influence. Residents of Jupiter isn't crunk per se, although the influence of Lil Jon and other Atlanta crunksters is certainly there — and C.B.Y.A. specialize in Southern party music that is boisterous and aggressive but not particularly threatening or thuggish. C.B.Y.A. don't make a point of telling you how gangsta they are, they don't have a heavy sociopolitical agenda, and they don't go out of their way to explain why their flow/rhyming technique is so superior to what all the sucker MCs have to offer. Club bangers like "Wasted!!," "Stunna Shades," and "Weather Man" are a celebration of decadent, hedonistic fun, pure and simple — and while most of C.B.Y.A.'s lyrics aren't meant to be profound, the album's best tracks are catchy enough. Residents of Jupiter isn't as consistent as it could have been, but the best parts of the CD are good for some rowdy escapism. Just don't expect to hear any '80s-style electro on Residents of Jupiter; again, this is 21st century Dirty South rap all the way.

Presidentz of Jupiter, C.B.Y.A!
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