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Wood Work

Da Back Wudz

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Album Review

Super-producer Dallas Austin was so knocked out by da Backwudz that he signed the duo and reactivated the Rowdy label. According to him, cousins Big Marc and Sho Nuff (yeah, like Bruce Leroy's nemesis in The Last Dragon) are the best group to come out of Atlanta since he moved to the city 20 years ago. That's the kind of remark one might expect from someone who has spent the majority of the last few years working with U.K. pop groups like Sugababes and Duran Duran — does he really think the duo has more to offer than Goodie Mob or OutKast? Even without the full support and crazy claims from Austin, da Backwudz would have a lot to live up to. They're technically from the backwoods of Decatur, but they certainly fit within the context of fellow groups and MCs that have come from Atlanta proper. They don't pretend that they haven't been inspired by Goodie Mob and OutKast, and it certainly shows throughout Wood Work, their first album. Early single "I Don't Like the Look of It (Oompa)," produced by Milwaukee Black & the Execs, was a great and daring way to assert da Backwudz as a distinct group with a specific lineage; using a sample from the Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory soundtrack and a neo-Timbaland tribal beat, the track carries an off-kilter mix of humor and menace. Tracks like "You Gonna Luv Me" and "The World Could Be Yours" — also produced by Black, a Midwesterner who does little to affect the duo's Southernness — combine Southern machine bump with flipped soul samples worthy of Just Blaze or Kanye West, and the MCs are adept over slow-grinding funk and bracingly tense soul, utilizing their heavy drawls and lyrical versatility. There's a drastic drop in quality during the latter half of the disc, but this remains a strong start. To be even more just, the first half is tremendously tight. There's the potential for at least two stronger albums, especially if the duo continues to develop alongside Black.

Biography

Formed: 1998 in Decatur, GA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s

The eccentricity and versatility of Da Backwudz's music place them outside the categorical box of crunk music in the 2000s Southern rap scene — but not that far. Cousins Sho Nuff and Big Marc, real names James Redding and Marcus Thomas respectively, hail from the eastern metro-Atlanta town of Decatur, GA. Their musical origins lie in traditional church gospel and their musically inclined family. They officially formed in 1998, attributing their name to Decatur's plentiful wooded areas and to...
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Wood Work, Da Back Wudz
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  • €10.99
  • Genres: Hip-Hop/Rap, Music, Dirty South
  • Released: 01 January 2006
  • Parental Advisory

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