Various Artists

Young, Fly & Flashy, Vol. 1

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Named the president of Virgin's urban division in early 2005, Jermaine Dupri -- formerly a VP at Arista -- has a lot of work cut out for himself. As of late, Virgin hasn't been known as the hottest spot for R&B and rap (or anything else, for that matter, apart from superstars like Lenny and Janet), but he has brought his So So Def roster with him and hopes to turn the situation around. Young, Fly & Flashy, titled just like a marketing campaign, is a way for him to show off his artists, whether they're developing (T. Waters, Young Capone, Dem Franchize Boyz), established (Bow Wow, Dupri himself), or past their peak of popularity (Da Brat, Daz Dillinger). These labelmates make a motley bunch, and this compilation is similarly scattered and uneven. Host Dupri makes a handful of contributions, including first single "Gotta Getcha," a rote club track co-written by Missy Elliott, but he leaves most of the room for his artists. Predominantly a hardcore Southern rap disc, highlighted by Pastor Troy's "Just to Fight" and the Young Capone-fronted "I'm Hot," it shouldn't have much trouble being trumped by the single-artist releases Dupri has on the boil. The biggest surprise is a Ciara-flavored appearance from KP & Envyi (!), a duo last heard from in 1997 ("Swing My Way").

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