Big Tymers

Hood Rich

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Hood Rich showcases many of the changes that occurred within the Cash Money camp during the two years since the Big Tymers' previous album, I Got That Work (2000). Most notably among these changes, the Hot Boys -- Lil Wayne, B.G., Turk, and Juvenile -- make no appearances here after being prominently featured on past releases, replaced by several newcomers: Tateeze, Boo, Gotti, TQ, and Mikkey. Moreover, for the first time ever, the Big Tymers bring in an outside producer, Jazze Pha, to complement the tireless Mannie Fresh. As you may presume given the Big Tymers' past reliance on the Hot Boys' rapping and Fresh's beats, this shuffling of personnel consequently broadens the duo's style. The Big Tymers embrace different styles of songwriting and incorporate more harmonious hooks after having taken somewhat of an assembly-line approach on past releases. The album-opening singles, "Oh Yeah" and "Still Fly," stand out as clear evidence, both songs going with sung rather than chanted hooks. The remainder of the album generally continues on in this mode, offering a significant scope of variety in the process. Even so, Hood Rich really doesn't move too far away from what the duo had been doing previously. Baby and Fresh boast more than ever, mostly about cars, money, and women as always, and the two are just as street as ever despite the omnipresent singalong hooks. Longtime Cash Money fans, however, will surely miss the Hot Boys and perhaps the less-polished sound of past releases, but the Big Tymers have made changes for the better. Hood Rich is by far their most accomplished album yet and also their most mature. It's an increasingly artistic step toward mainstream acceptance that's importantly subtle -- not so big of a step that it will turn away longtime fans but big enough to draw in more listeners than ever.

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