The Beatnuts - The Originators      
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written by Low Key    
While not exactly originators, The Beatnuts have continued to display their formula of Hip-Hop for over 8 years. They're raucous style of drunken humor; sexual episodes and weed toting anthems have gained them notoriety since their debut album in 1994. Their ability to stay true to their roots while being able to strike the mainstream with their party anthems has been uncontested since day one. Back after only a year hiatus, The Beatnuts once again give us exactly what we expected with "The Originators". While it's only been a year since there last venture "Take It Or Squeeze It", much has change for JuJu and Psycho Les. After parting ways with Loud Records, The Beatnuts went the independent route, singing with upstart Landspeed Records. This gives the Nuts free control over their music without major label influences and distractions. And while nothing new or original will come out of The Beatnuts mouth, sometimes sticking to the script is the best thing a group can do.

With "The Originators" The Beatnuts solidify their position as one of Hip Hop's most underrated groups. Their production continues to be one of the finest in the industry, which is never more evident than on "The Originators". The lead single "Work That Pole" featuring Tony Touch is a funky stripper anthem that should have everybody in the club's going crazy. While not on the same level as previous singles, the track definitely sets out what it intends to do. What The Beatnuts accomplish so well with "The Originators" is their ability to balance everything out. The polka sounds of "Buying Out The Bar" featuring Chris Chandler and "Routine" both follow in the long line of classic Beatnuts party anthems, but it's the more rugged side of The Nuts that makes the album memorable.

"Becks 'N Branson" featuring Triple Seis and Marley Metal is one of The Nuts best production efforts on the album, due to its eerie chanting. "U Crazy" is another street banger as Cormega viciously rips apart the JuJu produced track with ease. "Originate" is a masterful produced track by none other than the Large Professor, who also makes an appearance on the mic. While outside production is not something Beatnut fans are used to, the legendary Large Pro laces the track to perfection. Production wise, "Yae Yo" is the standout track on the album as the flute sample is nothing short of brilliant, as it captivates the track, thrusting it into another dimension. ILL Bill of Non Phixion and Problemz make guest appearances on the track as well, both putting forth solid performances.

While "The Originators" might be The Nuts most consistent album in years, there are a couple of bumps in the road. "Bionic" featuring Al Tariq & El Gant is a futuristic produced track that just doesn't capture the essence of the original trio as it should, mostly in part to the production. "Back 2 Back" and "Ya Betta Believe It" both feel like forced efforts that end up stale, as is "My Music" featuring Armaretta & Problemz.

Nevertheless, The Beatnuts have once again put forth a solid album that won't disappoint. More groups should take notes on what The Beatnuts have done. They haven't changed their style, or tried to blatantly appeal to the mainstream. They kept it true to their roots and in turn received all the success and accolades one would hope for. While their music isn't going to hit on the same level as it used due to the label switch, their music is still as tight as ever. The Nuts could continue to keep putting out the same music for another 8 years and we would still love it just as much.

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