Thugged Out: The Albulation

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Three years after splitting from the Luniz and partner Knumskull, West Coast rapper Yukmouth revealed himself to be a competent, thought-provoking solo entertainer. His debut, Thugged Out: The Albulation, a double-CD, 28-track package, delivered straight-on, in-your-face rap narratives on urban warfare, sexual misadventure, reflections on parenting and coming of age in his home town of Oakland, California. Yukmouth's rap lyrics range from the sentimental "Falling" and the expletive-laden "Stallion," to the comical. For the most part, he has kept pace with his gangsta rap contemporaries, essentially covering the same ground. Fortunately, groove-heavy basslines, guest rappers MC Ren and Tech 9, as well as solid production redeemed this effort to make it actually listenable.

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