Da Backwoodz

Wood Work Album

posted April 21, 2006 12:00:00 AM CDT | 4 comments

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When one hears about Da Backwudz, a sense of Georgia flavor emerges. The stereotypical rides, rims and chicks are topics on the album, right? Well, yes. However, it isn't the only thing on their minds. With so much Southern Hip Hop flooding the market today, it would certainly be easy to brush off Dirty South acts as simply another drop in the bucket, but it would be unjust to do that here.

Right from the jump the duo Sho-Nuff and Big Marc set it off, differentiating themselves from the pack. The introduction, "Welcome to Da Backwudz," sounds more like Outkast than Lil Jon. The instrumental is soothing and upbeat as the emcees pledge to educate through music. It's a nice mixture of various sounds as you can tell the Southern drawl is present, the hood aspect is covered and the fun-loving tempo is thrilling. Their diversity is explained with a line from the second verse of the album: "Church music and oldies and R&B consoled me, but nothing sounded better than what the Hip Hop told me."

The range continues to expand with the soulful and catchy "You're Gonna Luv Me" followed by the Killer Mike assisted, bounce-filled "Getting 2 It." "I'll Do" is a wonderful beat with an accompanying acoustic guitar and sped-up vocal sample. It is followed by a very different but energizing electric guitar fueled "Lock and Load."

Their lyrical arsenal is also not one-sided. They can take you from romantic mishaps ("The World Could Be Yours") to nice storytelling "Feelin' Lonely." Later, the duo dives into the advice from their mothers ("Momma Always Told Me"), and find time to attack wack DJs on a nicely flipped Sade sample ("Same Song"). They get sentimental on "What You Know Bout My Life" as they discuss divorce and single parent households in the hood. To add to the concoction, Nas and Slim Thug make appearances on the same track ("You Gonna Luv Me (Remix)") and add their flavors to the pot.

The downfall of the album lies in clichés. The "money/hustling" tracks get monotonous. The weak punch lines, ("Pay me like a parking meter") don't exactly thrill an audience. A corny beat like "I Don't Like the Look of It" simply takes away from the overall project. Skits that aren't funny and aren't necessary also take away from what the LP could have been.

Nevertheless, the album isn't what one would expect. It's full of fresh sounds ranging from rough to relaxing. The topics are more or less balanced to reach many different people. However, diversity and range don't necessarily equal 'good,' as is the case here. They blend in many styles and spices in their LP and that's not always so bad. However, one bad ingredient could ruin an otherwise great meal. With a few missteps along the way, Da Backwudz manage to pull together a decent appetizer. Hopefully their next album will be heartier.

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