Smilez & Southstar

Crash the Party

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    6
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The debut album from Smilez & Southstar is a confident, catchy, and unusually tight combination of post-Puff Daddy beats and smooth rhymes. This Florida duo have a natural chemistry that makes it easy for them to bounce their boasts off of one another without stepping over each other's material. Their lyrics can be downright silly at times, if only because they concentrate on money far too much and embarrassingly can't pull together the empty "Let's Get Naked." On the other hand, they can really accomplish some bright and clever rhymes when given the chance, at times bringing to mind Outkast's offbeat way of speaking to one another. The production is what puts this over the edge; where their rhymes are shaky enough to send this in either direction, Dakari's awesome backing tracks keep them in check and give the proceedings a necessary shot in the arm. His liquid post-G funk beats have a Bad Boy feel about them that makes things poppier, but also show the influence of Florida's bass music scene and the sonic soup of the Dirty South sound. Although some songs suffer from pedestrian lyrics, the overall album is an impressive debut that points to a bright future for this duo.

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