Big Tymers

Big Money Heavy Weights

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The Big Tymers don't really have anything new to say on Big Money Heavyweight. They're still rapping about the Cash Money lifestyle -- one of luxury characterized by a boisterous gangsta stance and firm ghetto roots, and stacks of greenbacks. This is their stock-in-trade. It always has been, and probably always will be. What is new here, however, is Mannie Fresh's continual development as a producer, and the duo's continual development as songwriters. When they began, back in 1998, they were middling down-South gangsta rappers spitting game about money they probably didn't have. Here, five years later in 2003, they're budding songsmiths with enough industry influence to reign in big-money unit-movers like R. Kelly (who wrote and produced the radio-ready "Gangsta Girl") and Ludacris (who leads off "Down South," a standout shout-out to the South's finest). Then there's the leadoff track, "This Is How We Do," a singsongy upbeat single propelled by an acoustic guitar that aspires to duplicate the cha-ching commercial success of "Still Fly," the very similar singsongy upbeat single from the last Big Tymers album, Hood Rich. Granted, Baby and Mannie don't exactly have a wealth of original ideas, the songwriting grace of R. Kelly, or the lyrical wit of Ludacris, but they do have their finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist, and give the people what they want, more or less -- even if that means rewriting their biggest hit to date, having the industry's pied piper write an R&B-crossover single for them, or bringing aboard the South's most popular rapper for a regional anthem. The paper-stacking commercial march of the original Big Money Heavyweights marches on, overall here, with a little more songwriting shine and a little less gutter splatter than last time, even if these Big Tymers don't really have anything new to say, just a smoother way to say it.

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