After only three albums, a "Best of" compilation is premature for even the greatest of groups. With Sean P going solo, the conclusion is that LaFace Records is attempting to milk some money out of the YoungBloodz' albums. Unfortunately, the YoungBloodz' catalogue, while extremely entertaining, is hard pressed to come up with enough tracks to truly separate such a compilation from any of their previous albums. Granted, they've had more hits than most groups with three albums, but the release of "Still Grippin the Grain" seems unnecessary at best, ridiculous at worst.
If you are a fan of the YoungBloodz, "Still Grippin the Grain" is of no use to you. There aren't any new or hard-to-find tracks present here, they're all taken straight off their albums. That's another puzzling aspect of this most record labels at least include some bonuses to attract long-time fans, but this hastily put together compilation offers nothing to anybody who follows the group. Even if you don't have all of their albums, they are all good enough to warrant a purchase, and you won't miss anything on this disk.
On the other hand, if you're a casual fan of hip hop who enjoys their radio singles but missed their albums, this serves as a fantastic sampler of their catalogue. It has all of their hits, and the best songs off of their albums, so if you don't plan on going any deeper than the surface of their career, by all means pick this up.
Not to be lost in the rushed quality of this album is that the YoungBloodz, in any context, are a joy to listen to. From the rousing "Damn" produced by Lil Jon, to their earlier songs like "U-Way," this is a testament to the energy of one of the most prolific groups from the dirty south. While fans could argue that one or another of their songs should be on here (especially since the disc runs at under an hour, amazingly short for a compilation album), there are no wasted moments on "Still Grippin the Grain." It's easily as good of a straight through listen as any of their albums.
In short, "Still Grippin the Grain" is strictly for beginners. Even if you only own one of their albums, go ahead and skip this one, there's much more to their catalogue than can be found here. But for the casual fan, who doesn't want to go much deeper than the singles, this is a fitting compilation of their best songs, so pop this in your CD player and turn up the volume.
Music Vibes: 9 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 8 of 10
Originally posted: February 27, 2007