Shwayze

Let It Beat

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Beating all tastemakers to the punch, opening cut "Livin' It Up" finds irresponsible brat-hop rapper Shwayze offering "No matter what it is you try to do/There's always gonna be somebody tryin' to hate on you/But that doesn't stop what we doooooo......" If it did, there certainly wouldn't be a second Shwayze album, as the man's simple rhymes, easy melodies, and Trustafarian-meets-slacker stance is generally reviled in the press. The fact that he and co-conspirator/producer Cisco Adler are MTV reality show veterans doesn't help their street-cred much, either. Still, the suburban party people understand, and Shwayze is here to provide the jams, unbothered by what the parents might think or, for that matter, anyone over of the age of 25. Sticking to his guns in spite of his Metacritic, Shwayze revisits the stoned-on-Malibu-sunshine feel of his debut, while Adler adds the influences of the 2009 electro-revolution brought on by acts like Chromeo and 3OH!3. Bright synths and busy drum machines help reinforce the cover art's '80s vision of the future, but the raps remain the same as his first time out, as titles like "Livin' It Up'" and "Dirty Little Girl" give away their thin stories. A couple numbers with acoustic guitars and a heavy Sublime influence round out the album, while guest shots from Snoop Dogg and the Knux help justify any copies that land in the local "rap" section. Turn up your nose and you'll be missing the great summer number "Crazy for You" which is "rocking flip-flops" with a Ric Ocasek production and -- hold onto your hats -- guitar from Darryl Jenifer of the Bad Brains.

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