2003 has indeed been the year of the South. While Southern Hip Hop has slowly made its way onto the mainstream scene the past couple of years due to artists such as Outkast, Goodie Mobb & Ludacris among others, this year has seen a new batch of up and coming emcees rise out of the south. Artists such as T.I., David Banner, Lil Jon, Killer Mike & Bone Crusher have all jumped onto the mainstream scene in a movement called “The New South”. While Southern bounce and crunk music has always been looked upon in a negative way in places such as the East Coast, this new Southern movement has managed to destroy longtime misconceptions, regain credibility and even take over East Coast airwaves. One of the various players in this Southern explosion is ATL’s very own Young Bloodz.
Many may remember the Young Bloodz from their 1999 smash hit “U-Way” and their solid debut album “Against The Grain”. Well, the terrible twosome of Sean Paul & J Bo are back with their sophomore release “Drankin’ Patnaz”. For those expecting the YoungBloodz to recapture that gritty Dirty South rawness experienced on “Against The Grain”, “Drankin’ Patnaz” maybe a small let down. With there new So So Def release, the YoungBloodz fail to build upon their memorable debut album and unfortunately fail victim to a small sophomore slump.
While the YoungBloodz were never revered for their outstanding lyricism or conceptual matter, “Against The Grain” did offer an entertaining album that was consistent and kept your attention. With “Drankin’ Patnaz”, Sean Paul & J Bo managed to produce an album all too familiar in today’s world of Southern Hip-Hop. Nothing new or innovative was expected out of the YoungBloodz for “Drankin’ Patnaz”, but the crew could have managed to keep the album a little more varied in topics. Too many times do the songs featured on the album fall into the same old clichés plaguing the South for years. “My Automobile” & “Lane To Lane” are your typical, run of the mill car joints featured on every Southern album. “Tequila” is a bland, uninspiring metaphorical tale for what else but a beautiful Spanish woman. “Cadillac Pimpin”, “Mind On My Money” & “No Average Playa” are all your typical pimp tales of money and woman that are all too common place in today’s game.
But for those YoungBloodz fans out there, do not completely loose faith, as “Drankin’ Patnaz” does feature some very memorable songs that managed to capture the feel “Against The Grain” did. The lead single “Damn!” produced by and featuring Lil’ Jon is already a big hit nation wide. Lil Jon continues to produce amazing commercial hits that never seem to get stale, no matter their repetitive nature. For the most part “Drankin’ Patnaz” is filled with some very solid production from people like Lil Jon, Mark Twayne, Trackboyz & Jazze Pha. It is indeed the production that usual makes or breaks many of the songs featured on the album, as seen on cuts such as “Whatchu Lookin’ At”, “Get ‘Em Crunk”, “Hustle” & “Drankin’ Patnaz”. Sean Paul’s solo venture “Get ‘Em Crunk” is one of the album’s best cuts, as the Mark Twayne produced track will surly get the club’s bouncing. Speaking of the clubs, tracks like “Whatchu Lookin’ At” & “Hustle” do an even better job at portraying that vintage crunk sound. The Trackboyz produced “Hustle” featuring Killer Mike is an infectious synthesizer filled track that could certainty be a big hit for the YoungBloodz if chosen as the album’s next single. The song’s hook is very catchy; perfect for mainstream appeal, and having Killer Mike drop a hot 16 on the track doesn’t hurt either.
With the YoungBloodz “Drankin’ Patnaz” we get an album that has its memorable moments but fails to remain consistent throughout its entirety. It may be unfair to compare the YoungBloodz sophomore effort with their memorable debut, however one cannot overlook the fact that the Youngbloodz are capable of putting out much more than a cliché filled album like they did with “Drankin’ Patnaz”.