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Best Thang Smokin'

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Album Review

A member of T.I.'s Grand Hustle family, rapper Young Dro exploded in 2006 with "Shoulder Lean," an irresistible, hooky club cut that kicked it hard. It was straight out of the house of T.I., as is the full-length it lands on. Best Thang Smokin' isn't as successful as T.I.'s King, but it is filled with more top-shelf productions than usual and built like solid full-lengths should be. Rather than pushing everything huge to the front, "Shoulder Lean" is saved for track number four, as an above average "who I am" cut opens the album with two dirty, down-low bangers following. Snide and loopy like the Grand Hustle team almost always nails, the great "Rubberband Banks" sits in the middle next to "We Lied," a smooth breakup number where Young Dro juggles being gangsta and having a broken heart effectively (as soon as the track fades, the sleazy "My Girl" wipes away any thoughts that he's soft). The street-level highlight — "Gangsta" — and the almost freestyle, "show off" number — "What It Is" — are both found in the fourth quarter, with the skeletal "It Ain't Over" bringing things to a satisfying close. The guest list is kept lean and Dro sounds hungry throughout, which makes listening to his well-thought-out raps all the better. Even if the numerous club cuts make him the best T.I. alternative to pick if you want something colder, "What It Is" and "We Lied" suggest he's got something more to offer. Best Thang Smokin' might stop short of being Dro's perfect showcase, but it's well crafted and filled with enough trunk-rumbling tracks that anyone who craves that Grand Hustle rush will be satisfied.

Biography

Born: 15 January 1979 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Atlanta rapper and T.I. protégé Young Dro decided to pursue a career in rap music in order to break the cycle of tribulations from hustling and inner-city life. Young Dro was born D'Juan Hart in Bankhead, a particularly rough neighborhood on Atlanta's west side. His inspiration for wanting to rap came from the success of one of his best friends, Chris "Daddy Mack" Smith, one half of early-'90s rap sensation Kris Kross. Musically speaking, however, Goodie Mob — also west Atlanta natives —...
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Best Thang Smokin', Young Dro
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