Twerk to Do

Three 6 Mafia, Lil Jon, and Pastor Troy share methods and raison d'être—in fact, Three 6 are among a rack of all-star guests on Lil Jon & the Eastside Boyz's Put Yo Hood Up (and on a disc peppered with bludgeoning catchphrase changes like "fuck that shit" and " 'ho-ass nigga," they fit right in). They just go about their business in different ways. If Three 6's production style goes down best with a bottle of Robitussin and Hellraiser, Lil Jon and Pastor Troy are all you need for a players'night out in the ATL, where the get crunk/get drunk/get a private dance triumvirate is the club-hopper's version of the triple double.

Jon, best known as the inventor of the term crunk (as well as the mastermind behind So So Def's Bass All-Stars) employs the old bait and switch: Catch your attention with a series of muscle-bound Southern electro tracks, then lock it down with sparkling guest verses (see Ludacris's deliciously rubato turn on the hit "Bia Bia," and M.O.P.'s manic scenery-chewing on "Heads Off"). Jon also has more than one pitch in his arsenal—he serves up pimp-rolling tracks fronted by Eightball and MJG and Too Short.

Juvenile backs that slanguage up.
photo: Stephen McBride
Juvenile backs that slanguage up.

Details

Juvenile
Project English
Cash Money/Universal
Buy

Cash Money Millionaires
Platinum Instrumentals
Cash Money/Universal

Backbone
Concrete Law
Universal

Slimm Calhoun
The Skinny
Aquemini/Arista

Gangsta Boo
Both Worlds *69
Loud

Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz
Put Yo Hood Up
TVT

Pastor Troy
Face Off
Universal

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To non-Southerners, Troy is best known as the dude who called out Master P (on "No Mo Play in Ga," re-released on Face Off along with some other previously indie material). Like Three 6, he favors lean beatology and gothic textures, but it's Troy's delivery that keeps you throwing your hands up through the metalloid crush of tunes like "This Tha City." He tackles Southern-thug clichés, like the obligatory r&b interpolation (New Edition on "Can You Stand the Game"), more convincingly than most; in "Prayer" and "O Father," the minister's son even manages to make a "playa confessional" sound genuine. The context reminds me of one of my minister's takes on hardcore entertainers name-checking God: "They can praise Him, but they can't worship Him." But that's not the point—like Lil Jon, and more than a few of his other Southern brethren, Troy's aiming for that grossly reactive section of the brain that governs activities below chest level. Which is where most pop music aims anyway, though Southern artists tend to be more upfront about it—leaving complaints to the wallflowers while making sure everybody else stays on the grind.

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