Yankee B.

Mucho Dinero

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New Yorker-via-Jamaica Yankee B.'s debut album, a stream of hip-hop-accented dancehall, doesn't bring anything particularly new to the genre (the gruff toasting and boasting, classic street beats and rhythms, and a sense of historical awareness are all here), but with a sharp insight into the blending of the two not-so-disparate worlds, Mucho Dinero achieves a cultural bridge that plays the mainstream more forcefully than any of its contemporaries. Yankee B. parades guest MCs and rap riffs more readily than his peers, too, ultimately giving the album equal doses of R&B suavity and reggae roughness. It just all sounds a bit redundant, with one song title merely supplementing another as the tunes tread familiar ground. Check out the traditional sway of "Live by the Gun" and "That Feeling" (a rewrite of Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing"), though; these are late-'90s hip-hop/dancehall at their most swaggeringly potent.

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