FLY

Jamboree

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AllMusic Review by

The Southern party-rap trio Fast Life Youngstaz, or FLY, got a remarkable two summers' worth of heat from their infectious single "Swag Surfin'." First a regional hit in the summer of 2008, it hit on a national level a year later thanks to the group's hometown NBA team the Atlanta Hawks, who adopted the track as their unofficial theme for the 2009 playoffs. Pulling off amazing feat number two, their good-timing debut album, Jamboree, doesn't come off as a rushed release, and it is not filled with blatantly copycat, follow-up singles. Redundant numbers are an inherent disadvantage of the party-rap genre, and there's a handful here, but the trio makes an effort to round out the album with diversions like the flirty swagger song "Gotta Be," and the tongue-in-cheek surfer dude anthem "Party Time," which must be the first time the words "gnarly" and "cowabunga" were used in a "Hotlanta" track. Fun ideas and odd obsessions ("Party Time" offers "we got more bottles than a nursery" while "Mr. Lenox" spits "In the club there's bottles like a Gerber commercial") make the group sound unique while the lighter, brighter beats -- most supplied by producer Kevin Erondu -- are a fine complement for the playful sense of humor. Playing it cool but not so collected, FLY make the transition from bust-out single to worthwhile full-length sound effortless on Jamboree, an album as lively and fun as its title implies.

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