With a mystical name like the “Ying Yang Twins” you might think that these Southern rappers were on a spiritual quest for enlightenment; a search for the balance between the good and the evil. Actually, no. The Ying Yang Twins have far more basic concerns – they want to get krunk and pop some coochie. Rappers D-Roc and Kaine describe the balance in their group’s name as reflecting their different styles of rapping – Kaine says he’s the smoothest while D-Roc brings it rugged.

Ying Yang’s lead single “Whistle While You Twurk” was the song that moved them from hometown heroes in East Atlanta to national phenomenon. The original version of the song featured a catchy bite of a Disney song by “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” but of the two remixes on “Thug Walkin'” neither one includes the original hook. Even though it’s possible to imagine Disney not wanting to be associated with the song’s topic matter (it’s an ode to strippers) it’s dissapointing to discover the hit that moved a couple hundred thousand units of their record independently has suddenly dissapeared when they went major.

As for the rest of this album it’s a decidely mixed bag. There’s a certain group of rap music fans that the Twins will appeal to – the same set who bought albums by Three 6 Mafia, Ghetto Mafia, and the Botany Boys. The production on all the tracks except for the “Twurk” remixes is handled by Beat-In-Azz (that’s not a pun, that’s his name) and reflects a defiantly regional Southern sound. While artists like OutKast, Scarface, and Juvenile try to make Southern rap more accessible to outsiders, Ying Yang seems almost content to accept the “flukeness” of their first single’s success and stick to making their own unique brand of hip-hop. This means that even though the album may have a hard time striking gold twice, it does have that sound that people who like their hip-hop “krunk” wouldn’t be mad at.

You’ll probably catch the holy ghost more than once or twice if you’re one of these fans. “Kick in the Door” may unintentionally remind you of Trick Daddy’s “Shut Up”, the uptempo “Brang Yo Azz Outdoz” sounds like Three 6 Mafia’s “Push ‘Em Off” without the ‘Triggerman’ samples, and “Dispose of Broadz” could easily have come from No Limit rappers like Mac and Magic. The latter also has a line in the chorus which is either unintentionally comic or completely disturbing: “If I had a pussy, I’d fuck myself!”

Ultimately, the very thing that made the Ying Yang Twins distinctive in the first place seems to have vanished – the addictively catchy Disney hook that you just couldn’t shake. Releasing the album minus this version of “Whistle While You Twurk” doesn’t necessarily kill off Ying Yang Twins chances for success, but Kaine and D-Roc don’t offer much of anything you haven’t heard musically or lyrically before from the Dirty South. The Twins need to ‘Twurk’ on it some more and come up with something in their raps and beats that really stands them apart from the pack.

Ying Yang Twins :: Thug Walkin'
5Overall Score