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Units In Da City

Shawty Lo

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Album Review

As the man behind Atlanta's D4L crew and their lightweight party hits "Laffy Taffy" and "Betcha Can't Do It Like Me," Shawty Lo gets no respect from hip-hop purists. To them, a solo album from a hype man/label boss who reluctantly took up rapping two years prior is pointless. They're right, and doubly so when they call Lo's "slow-flow" style "limited," but Units in the City is certainly an entertaining and well-balanced effort, equally stocked with hooks and clichés. With one of the breathiest deliveries in hip-hop, Shawty rattles off numerous "dope boy money" and "brown paper bag" stories over party beats, combining the good timing snap music D4L delivered with the cocaine-minded trap music his fellow Atlanta snowmen T.I. and Young Jeezy trade in. Shawty might not be able to match them lyrically, but with some fun wordplay — rhyming "fellow" and "a cappella" by pronouncing it "a cappello" — and the talent to hire all the right people for production and guest appearances, he's created a satisfying weekend album. There are a few surprises, like when "Live My Life" slides from a Nicolay influenced beat into something more Funkadelic all while quoting John Cougar Mellencamp's "Jack and Diane." The sing-songy "That's Shawty Lo" brings the Soulja Boy and Jibbs style into the world of pushing yayo, and "Live My Life" is a soft and reflective number that works, but the real reason Units exists is to house the infectious club tracks like "They Know" and "Dunn, Dunn." The big bombshell is that they're surrounded with material that's consistently satisfying, making Shawty's solo debut worth any snap music fan's attention.

Biography

Born: Atlanta, GA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Atlanta-born and bred trap rapper Shawty Lo, aka Carlos Walker, did not reach national prominence with his street-hustling raps, but by ushering in the "snap dance" craze with the Billboard-topping "Laffy Taffy" as part of his four-man crew, D4L, in 2005. He co-founded both the group and, acting as CEO, the D4L Records label two years earlier with the intention of only working behind the scenes and never really contributing many verses to the group. D4L's debut single, "Betcha Can't Do It Like Me,"...
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Units In Da City, Shawty Lo
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