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Whiskey and Women

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Album Review

Numerous white rappers have combined hip-hop and rock, but the way the Moonshine Bandits do it on Whiskey and Women is unusual: they bring country into the mix. Whiskey and Women favors an unlikely yet successful blend of hip-hop, Southern rock, and country; the Bandits' sound owes something to everyone from Dr. Dre and House of Pain to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Molly Hatchet to Waylon Jennings. Whiskey and Women manages to link redneck culture and hip-hop culture, combining the rebellious imagery of hip-hop with the hell-raising imagery of Southern rock and outlaw country — and the Moonshine Bandits aren't shy about mentioning honky tonk icons like Hank Williams Sr. and Johnny Cash. Granted, the way this West Coast group plays up redneck stereotypes on infectious offerings such as "Whiskey River," "My Kind of Country," "For the Outlawz," and "Whiskey and Cigarettes" (many of their songs mention whiskey) can be cartoonish, but that's part of the fun. The Moonshine Bandits take the stereotype of the hell-raisin', whiskey-drinkin', truck-drivin', Daisy Dukes-lovin', rifle-ownin' good old boy and run with it, which isn't unusual in and of itself; Southern rock and outlaw country have been thriving on that stereotype for decades. But the way these California rappers find the parallels between hip-hop rebels and redneck rebels is certainly unorthodox. Some listeners might find it strange that all these redneck-isms are coming from a California group rather than a Southern group, but actually, that isn't strange at all when one considers California's contributions to country music. Let's not forget that Merle Haggard and the late Buck Owens were both from Bakersfield, California — and those guys were responsible for some of the finest and most classic honky tonk of the '60s and '70s. So yes, it is appropriate for a West Coast group to embrace a good ol' boys image. Whiskey and Women will no doubt be ignored by both country radio and R&B/hip-hop/urban radio; it's way too hip-hop for country stations and way too country-rock for urban stations. But for those who hold Snoop Dogg, Molly Hatchet, and Waylon Jennings in equally high regard, this album offers a major dose of fun.

Biography

Formed: 2003 in California

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Coming at the hick-hop genre from an old-school angle, like Johnny Cash meets the Beastie Boys, Central California's Moonshine Bandits feature rappers Tex and Bird. Only Bubba Sparxxx, Haystak, and a handful of other artists were mixing country, rap, and rock when the group made its debut in 2003 with the album Soggy Crackerz. Sparxxx made a guest appearance on their 2006 effort Prohibition, as did Danny Boone from the group Rehab, while the Bay Area's slang king, E-40, lent his skills to 2009's...
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Whiskey and Women, Moonshine Bandits
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