Young Gunz

Tough Luv

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AllMusic Review by

Roc-a-Fella had high hopes for Young Gunz. They gave the Philadelphia duo top billing on the second State Property compilation, and that move paid off: "Can't Stop Won't Stop" hit the Top Ten of the rap track chart, and the accompanying video was in constant rotation on M2 and BET for at least two months. The Roc rolled the success of that track right into the first proper single from Tough Luv, "No Better Luv." Smoother in tone but no less lyrically challenged ("Give me the sex then I'm tired of y'all/So find the next to provide for y'all"), it was a bid to build the duo's female fan base. It worked, too. MCs Young Chris and Neef claim to be the future of their label in the wake of Jay-Z's supposed retirement, but they'll have to take their spot in line behind several others -- despite a small clutch of high-performing single material (all of which owe much to the production work), the two are, at best, third- or fourth-stringers. Though they strive for something deeper, the album isn't much beyond a decent party record, and a good percentage of the lyrics leave a lot to be desired. They're caught up, too willing to rely on their associations. However, forget not that Young Gunz's low stature within Roc-a-Fella says more about the depth of the label's roster than anything else.

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