Unk

Beat'n Down Yo Block

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    7
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AllMusic Review by

After attacking urban radio with his club track and dance craze "Walk It Out," DJ/rapper Unk made the usual mixtape and BET appearances that built up to the big album, but he did it in such an incredibly compressed time that there's every reason to worry his full-length debut is a rushed dud. Beat'n Down Yo Block isn't a dud at all. With plenty of punkish, thuggish street music and a convincing, reverent track devoted to those no longer with us ("Thinking of You"), the album skillfully covers a lot more ground than expected. Unk has the charisma and swagger to deliver it all, plus the ability to write amusing rhymes, but more than anything he's got the executive producer to pull this kind of hardcore Southern party record off, Big Oomp. Oomp is the man behind Baby D and his Off Da Chain album, a Dirty South cult favorite. The over the top but down in the gutter attitude of that album is also felt on Beat'n Down Yo Block, but this is a much slicker affair and unfortunately overstuffed. Whittle away four or five tracks that are redundant filler and you're still left with sizeable album, with "This Is How We Do," "Flatline," and "Fresh Dressed" all blessed with that exciting "Walk It Out" magic. The syrup sippin' "Slow It Up" and a couple "smokin' dro" tracks take the party in a much more reckless direction, bringing back those Baby D reminders and wearing that "Parental Advisory" sticker like a badge. While Oomp and Unk may not show any restraint with the long track list, they don't show any restraint when it comes to delivering Dirty South weekend music. Seeing how Beat'n Down Yo Block is such a loud, hedonistic, and thuggish good time, that's a fair tradeoff.

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