Da Backwudz Vs. OutKast
It’s inevitable to listen to Da BackWudz and not think of OutKast. And that’s not just becuase Sho-Nuff and Big Marc of Da BackWudz rep Atlanta just about as hard as Big Boi and Andre 3000. The duo also flaunt those elements that made ATL the unofficial capital of southern rap: synthetic beats, punching rhymes, radiance, and plenty of soul. Wood Work offers a myriad of soundtracks that reveal the Wudz’ sense of both music and cultural appreciation.
You Gonna Luv Me
Wood Work powers off to a great start with “You Gonna Luv Me,” a scintillating offshoot of Jennifer Holliday’s “And I’m Telling You.” Gritty drum rolls stutter in a timely fashion, while the soulful sample is casually introduced at the end of every bar. But, just in case you slept on “You Gonna Luv Me” – Wood Work‘s first single, the next track in line, “I Don’t Like The Look of It” seals any doubts left. Don’t be fooled by the 80’s skit false start, the song is actually an overexercise on 808’s, oompaloompa drum shivers and catchy rhymes to complete the cipher.
Production on Wood Work
DJ Toomp, the boardsman behind T.I.’s “What You Know,” whips up a steel drum shiver on “Gettin’ 2 It” as Da Backwudz and Killer Mike trade rhymes about trappin’ and strappin.’ Truth be told, Killer Mike steals the show with his infinite wit: “You set up shop in my residence? Al Sharpton stands a better chance of being voted first n***a for president.” “Same Song,” producer Milwaukee Black’s [mis]interpretation of Sade Adu’s “King of Sorrow” suffers from a basic loop, but does a commendable job of speaking out against corny DJ’s – a rare move in hip-hop.
The Deadly “H-word”
Even rarer in the genre is any topic that flirts with the “H-word.” Sho-Nuff and Big Marc are not only humble enough to tackle homosexuality and HIV on the aptly dark “Feel Lonely,” they detail their vivid tales with standstill suspense.
The Bottom Line on Wood Work
Despite the Wudz’ unique craftsmanship, lyrical diversification is occasionally submerged in recurring themes. “Fantastic” and “I’ll Do” come across as one long track. The wistful George Clinton-assisted “Smoke N Ride” is a reminder that “crack music” is quickly becoming played out. However, the boys quickly attempt to mend matters with their swan song, “You Gonna Luv Me Remix.” An uninspired Nas makes his first appearance as a Def Jam artist, while Slim Thug stirs things up by painting a clear picture of everyday H-Town living. Wood Work is a flavorful blueprint that seamlessly unites endearing sonics with hearty rhymes. Not since the emergence of OutKast has any other “A-Town” crew represented hip-hop in such a grandiose fashion.
- Whatcha Know About My Life
- Lock ‘n’ Load
- Feeling Lonely
- Gettin 2 It
- You Gonna Luv Me