Of all the unlikely icons in rap, few are more bizarre than the Ying Yang Twins, who have ridden the tempestuous tide of crunk to rap superstardom. While I have yet to meet anyone who genuinely enjoys their madcap antics, questionable fashion sense and seemingly inexhaustible array of grating adlibs, they have certainly attained a certain ubiquity of late, appearing mouth agape in virtually every southern video that has infected television airwaves in the past two years. In an attempt to further saturate the market with their presence, they have unleashed this curiously titled disc (slightly altering last year’s “Me & My Brother”) containing a host of remixes, as well as a handful of new tracks.
So is it any good? Not really, no. The marching band horns of opener “Halftime (Stand Up & Get Crunk!)” are intriguing, aiming for the anthemic feel of Slip N Slide’s “Take It To Da House” but failing spectacularly, defeated by the blatant sing-song silliness of the hook. The “Slow Motion” remix further plunders Soulja Slim’s postmortem crossover hit, adding an offbeat Wyclef verse, misogynistic drivel from the Twinz and infuriatingly lacklustre input from the aptly named Wacko & Skip of UTP to what was originally a tremendous single. The other remixes are equally disposable- “Georgia Dome” with aspiring sexpot Jacki-O is an exceedingly weak facsimile of “Get Low.” “Salt Shaker,” which was never a particularly appealing single to begin with, gets two consecutive spots on this record, despite being essentially the same remix (one version features Juvenile, Murphy Lee and Fat Joe, while the extended mix also includes Jacki-O, BG and Pitbull). The reason for including two versions of the same track is flabbergasting, considering none of the emcees turn in a performance worth hearing again.
To this album’s credit, Collipark’s production is as astute and solid as ever (anybody heard that “Slow Jamz Remix” by Collipark? BANANAS!)- “Take Ya Clothes Off” is an absolute banger, its intensely infectious synth riff and staccato drums serving as an impeccable foil for Bone Crusher’s unbridled energy. “Do It” is state-of-the-art crunk, its death knell bells and rumbling low end on par with anything Lil’ Jon has put together in recent times. The Collipark boys manage to thoroughly outshine their more accomplished contemporaries Lil Jon and Just Blaze on this effort, both of whom present toothless, disappointingly predictable tracks. It’s a genuine shame, then, that tracks of such magnitude have fallen in the hands of the Ying Yang Twinz, who refuse to take the tracks seriously enough to do them any kind of justice. While their proximity to the leaders of the New South may suggest that they have something substantial to offer, they have yet to release anything that justifies my, or indeed your, hard-earned dollar.