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Ten Toes Down

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Album Review

Jumping from Diddy’s Bad Boy South label to T.I.’s more suitable imprint Grand Hustle for their eighth studio effort, 8Ball & MJG are back to their dastardly duo ways on Ten Toes Down’s opening track, “It’s Going Down,” a syrup-slow return to form that grinds on the competition with a Drumma Boy beat. The song kicks off a ridiculously good run of original gangster music that runs six tracks long and features a killer single ("Bring It Back"), a tough highlight with David Banner as producer and Bun B as guest (“I Don't Give a F***”), plus a surprisingly filthy, surprisingly successful team-up with the previously clean Soulja Boy (“F** U Mean”). It’s a dream EP for the longtime fan, but the album gets moderate in the middle with “She’s so Fine” and “Spotlight,” both being examples of unnecessary concessions to radio. These “for the ladies” tracks pale in comparison to the straight-up sexy and very Isleys “Right Now,” which slithers between the sheets for a solid six-and-a-half minutes. Worthy nostalgia numbers and two more Drumma Boy cuts finish the set off, leaving the listener with a very good and very familiar effort that satisfies after a bit of trimming.

Biography

Born: Memphis, TN

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

8Ball, half of the pioneering Southern rap duo 8Ball & MJG, branched out occasionally for solo albums, beginning with the double-disc Lost in 1998, and was an active collaborator, appearing as a featured guest on countless rap songs over the years. Born Premro Smith, 8Ball grew up in the Orange Mound area of Memphis, TN, where he met MJG at Ridgeway Junior High School in 1984. The two shared a passion for hip-hop, which hadn't yet made a strong impact in the South, and formed their own rap duo,...
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Ten Toes Down, 8Ball
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