Ya Lookin' at 'Em

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In the wake of Trick Daddy's and Trina's national breakthroughs in the early 2000s, fellow Florida-based hardcore rappers Iconz sought to capitalize on the bit of success they'd attained on their first go round, Street Money (2001), with Ya Lookin' at 'Em, their 2003 follow-up album. The eight-thug posse serves up a full helping of hardcore Southern rap, filling its album to the brim with 17 tracks, guest after guest (most notably Trick Daddy), and Dirty South motifs aplenty. What's glaringly lacking, however, is a clear-cut highlight. Street Money had "Get Crunked Up," the song that put Iconz on the map in the first place, but Ya Lookin' at 'Em is sorely missing such a highlight, let alone a couple of them. The album-opener, "We Thuggin'," gets the album off to a delightfully rowdy start, and the next couple tracks also have some kick to them, but Iconz can't maintain for too long. By the end of the album -- and a distant end it is, a long 80 or so minutes later -- they're just churning out run-of-the-mill Dirty South with a thuggish edge to it that's far from novel circa 2003. Of course, this is fine for fans of hardcore Dirty South, especially of the Trick Daddy variety, but more casual rap fans aren't going to find much here that's worth their time or money. There's simply too much rap being released week after week nowadays for casual fans to bother with anything less than exceptional. And that's precisely what Iconz are here on Ya Lookin' at 'Em: unexceptional to all but hardcore Dirty South fans.

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