Grit Boys

Ghetto Reality in Texas

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Another solid act from Houston's fertile hip-hop scene, Grit Boys carry on the spirit of their mentor, HAWK, with their debut album Ghetto Reality in Texas, a cold blast of hood stories and rebellious, sometimes reckless, rhymes. Besides HAWK, the crew has name-checked Public Enemy in the past when asked for influences, and while nothing here is as revolutionary as PE's words and production, there is that hunger for positive movement forward. Of course, Chuck D and his crew never spoke of sipping sizzurp or delivered club tracks the way Grit Boys do, something that makes this half-responsible, half-hedonistic effort so interesting. "Ghetto Reality" does an excellent job of communicating inner-city strife, while "Fresssh" pops its collar and heads out for the weekend taking the listener along for the ride. Members Poppy, Scooby, and Unique are all equally gifted at writing about the daily grind or the weekend, which not only makes them hard to pigeonhole but also hard to identify when mixed with all the competition. Not helping at all is the huge guest list, featuring everyone from Mase to Bun B, along with a posthumous HAWK appearance and the left-field choice of U.K. rapper Dizzee Rascal. Even if Grit Boys don't arrive with a strong persona and true showcase debut, they've created an overall satisfying and often absorbing hardcore album.

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