Dead End

Royal Fam

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Dead End Review

by Rob Theakston

Don't be fooled by the breathtaking Photoshop artwork that graces the cover -- this album is a treasure trove of hard street-styled beats over some rugged, manly lyrics. Meenie, Cooda, Trigga Man, CK, Boot da King, Woodie, and Smurf take Royal Fam's internal struggles within themselves and their external struggles of growing up in Royal Palm Beach, FL, and deliver something that you would expect from a group emerging from the South Coast. Most of the beats sound surprisingly familiar, as if they had been listening to a few Timbaland CDs before they got in the studio. Evidently someone in the crew takes inspiration from Mystikal, with a delivery that is highly derivative of his vocal stylings, only with less of a growl and more of a feeling there's a beer bottle lodged in his esophagus. And what proper album is complete without an intro and a few skits (especially the one on this record, easily the most well-thought-out skit in ages) interlaced in between for a value-added bonus? Overall, it's a captivating portrait of menacing street life in the Deep South.

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