Various Artists

Crunk Hits, Vol. 3

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While there are a whole lot of highlights on TVT's Crunk Hits, Vol. 3, putting the word "Crunk" on the cover is a misguided move since there isn't enough of that down and dirty Southern party music included to earn that bit of street slang. The first two volumes may have bent the rules without coming off as clueless, but Vol. 3 acts like Grandma when it declares the pop-tacular Pussycat Dolls or the entirely Harlem Webstar "Crunk." Ignore it and you're left with a serviceable overview of some of what was poppin' on urban radio in 2005/2006 with representation for the crooners (Akon, Tyrese), the down South grinders (Paul Wall, Three 6 Mafia), and those Hyphy folks from the Bay Area (E-40, Too Short). It's almost as if the mislabeling is some kind of ironic commentary on how the underground Crunk movement got diluted once it hit the mainstream, but that's overthinking and Crunk Hits, Vol. 3 is more about TVT flexing their licensing muscle than proving they're down with what's up.

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