Ying Yang Twins

USA (United State of Atlanta) (TVT)

Now that even your grandmother gets Dave Chappelle's goof on Lil Jon, crunk faces the challenge of all overexposed genres: How to stay relevant? One way, of course, is through the time-honored bid for "artistic growth." But when it's Atlanta's Ying Yang Twins talking about such matters, you have to worry: These are the guys, after all, whose philosophy boils down to "shake your azz." Sometimes maturity really is beside the point.

But relax: USA turns out to be almost indistinguishable from the Twins' two previous outings. There are two or three great singles, while the rest of the disc sounds like a graveyard of Lil Jon's discarded woofer-rattlers, with lyrics that should keep the NOW gang busy for months. D-Roc and Kaine's idea of "growth" turns out to be whispering their lewd come-ons, rather than just barking commands to "drop it down to the floor."

In fact, it's raw, simplistic hits like "Badd" -- rather than the harmless crossover bid "Live Again" (with Maroon 5's Adam Levine) -- that prove the duo's staying power. Being as nasty as you wanna be has been a meal ticket for as long as there's been pop music; the Twins' USA is thus no declaration of independence, but an affirmation of history.

 
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