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While Atlanta hip-hop was slowly coming down from years of hard crunk music, Decatur, GA's Blak Jak came along and had a huge hit in the summer of 2006 with the slowly creeping "Ride & Swerve." Produced by Shawty Redd, the man responsible for much of Young Jeezy's smash Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101 album, and featuring special guest Project Pat, "Ride & Swerve" was a laid-back throwback that was originally released independently before the major label Universal picked it up and offered Blak Jak a record deal. A mixtape with DJ Smallz titled Roll da Dice held the rapper's place as he worked on his first album through the summer and fall. His proper debut, Place Your Bets, arrived at the end of 2006 just as his club track "Bobbin My Head" began to catch fire. ~ David Jeffries