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United States Of Atlanta

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Album Review

The Ying Yang Twins widen their narrow spectrum with USA (United State of Atlanta) by adding Black Eyed Peas and OutKast's attitudes toward albums to their already slick and sleazy party crunk. At 77 minutes and 23 tracks, the sprawling album is weighed down by some filler and redundant numbers, but as a step forward for a party band riding on whatever the Dirty South sound of the moment is, it's surprisingly bold and accomplished. At the time of its release, the sleazy, catchy, and downright gimmicky "Wait (The Whisper Song)" was blowing up on radio, but as another party single from a group that's released a truckload, it doesn't represent the risk-taking attitude of the album. Although a guest shot from Maroon 5's Adam Levine seems like an uninspired attempt at pop crossover, the alterna-singer blends well with the boys on "Live Again," a look inside the life of a stripper that's deep and bleak, not misguided and ridiculous like you'd expect from these former jokesters. Southern regulars like Mike Jones, B.G., Pitbull, and Lil Scrappy all shine here, but the earthy and soulful Anthony Hamilton rises above all others, taking the Twins deep into the world of the Isley Brothers on the sincere and spiritual "Long Time." "Ghetto Classics" is the album's mind-blowing moment, with the duo commenting on African-Americans' role in the military and urban history over a fierce Art of Noise loop. Anchoring all this musical exploration is the usual riding on 24s, bragging about their grills, worshiping booty, and the other hedonistic things that are at the heart of the best Ying Yang tracks. The middle of the album is devoted to freaky sex with "Wait" as the centerpiece, so don't think they're trying to deliver a crunk What's Going On as much as a dirtier Elephunk. They succeed, and had they named the album after "Ghetto Classics" they would have been only slightly overselling it.

Biography

Formed: Atlanta, GA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

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

Atlanta's party rap duo Ying Yang Twins scored a hit with the single "Whistle While You Twurk," which received nationwide airplay on urban and crossover radio stations. Their full-length debut album, Thug Walkin', appeared later in 2000. Alley...Return of the Ying Yang Twins from 2002 sold well down South, but it was the duo's 2003 team-up with Lil Jon — "the King of Crunk" — that brought them nationwide success. The party anthem "Salt Shaker" was a massive club and radio hit and soon...
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United States Of Atlanta, Ying Yang Twins
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