Hood Hop

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An adequate-at-best MC and a backing track tricked out with bold thievery from a handful of established producers. Somehow this added up to "Tipsy," one of the most rousing club-oriented rap singles of early 2004. Clipse's "Grindin'" is the major point of reference; producers TrackBoyz use a rough approximation of that Neptunes beat -- bleacher stomps meet slamming trunks -- and fill it out with elements from a handful of other outside sources, including well-placed electro synth zaps. Energetic, addictive, and free of redeeming social value, it's a party track in the best sense. The remainder of J-Kwon's SoSo Def debut isn't nearly as consequential. The TrackBoyz (Nelly, YoungBloodZ) show some promise as a young production team, but the MC they're supporting is nothing to get worked up about. When he grows tired of hearing his normal voice, he switches over to a slightly strained variation, as if he's trying to make it crack. That's all he has going for now, but "Tipsy" definitely allowed him to leave his mark.

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