Drankin' Patnaz

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YoungBloodZ debuted impressively in 1999 with Against da Grain, but no one -- not even their biggest fans -- would have predicted how much of a stride forward they'd make with their long-delayed follow-up, Drankin' Patnaz. Of course, the ATL duo had hooked up with So So Def Records between albums, and the move was a momentous one for YoungBloodZ. Not only did the promising partnership guarantee the duo mass-market distribution and marketing (via So So Def's corporate parent, Arista), but it also gave them the time and budget they needed to make a great breakthrough album. And that they certainly did with Drankin' Patnaz, the most glaring evidence being "Damn!," the album opener. Damn! indeed. The Lil Jon production is a rabble-rousing, 'bow-throwing club-banger of monstrous proportions. It's on a par with any of the King of Crunk's innumerable other club-banging productions -- from "Bia' Bia'" to "Get Low" -- and it's no doubt one of the rowdiest songs to ever break into the Top Five of Billboard's Hot 100 chart. Consider for a moment the song's unedited hook: a looped chant of "If you don't give a damn, we don't give a f*ck (hey!)" followed by Lil Jon's belligerent response of "Don't start no sh*t and there won't be no sh*t (what! what! what! what!...)." Of course, it's not easy to follow such an audacious album-opener, yet YoungBloodZ somehow follow through, first with another hard-hitting, floor-shaking bass anthem ("Whatchu Lookin' At") and then with a solid run of top-shelf Dirty South tracks helmed by their talented stable of producers, most notably Mark Twayne, the Track Boyz, and R.O.B. Furthermore, there's also a laid-back Jazzy Pha track hidden toward the album's close, "Money on My Mind," that's yet another highlight. There's more to Drankin' Patnaz than huge bass beats, however. J Bo and Sean Paul are excellent rappers, plain and simple. Their flows are quick and liquid, and they trade off rhymes with ease. This is how duos are supposed to rap -- as a duo rather than as a pair of solo artists. From so many different perspectives, Drankin' Patnaz is a far above average Dirty South release and a crowning achievement for YoungBloodZ, whom So So Def was keen to pick up and develop.

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