Jawga Boyz

Kuntry

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Folks who think Kid Rock has gone too commercial and that the big country and rap stars who have done country-rap tracks haven't built any true momentum for the hybrid genre should love these Jawga Boyz, whose 17-track trip to the Kuntry is all at once hilarious, engaging, infectious, twangy, and soulful. As it rolls long from the funky, harmonica-laced front porch lament "Dirty for Weeks" through the hypnotic street vibe of "Buckle Up or Bow Down," the listener gets the sense of being in a car overheating and conking out in some hick town between Memphis and Nashville. Led by lead vocalist/rapper D. Thrash, the group has been dreaming of the city while coming up in the woods, doing underground projects since the early 2000s. Highlights of this glorious "hick-hop" explosion include the infectious synth and beat-driven "Rollin' Like a Redneck" (which happens when country boys talk badass about their white trash life), the twangy acoustic guitar strum-filled autobiographical pop tune "Far from Over," and the lushly produced, bragging swagger of "Ridin' High." They also use tropical synth touches for a spirited, grooving "Trip 2 Mexico." These Boyz are talented musicians, rhymers, and producers -- with tongue firmly planted in cheek as they talk about their hood, which no doubt includes some run-down double wides.

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