Chris and Chris do show considerable improvement in verbal execution. Too bad it's not original. Like Da Brat, it's obvious that Kris Kross has been Snooping around for a style. The two slip even further into the current of conformity by borrowing heavily from Biggie Smalls on "Da Streets Ain't Right," a poor excuse to rip off Big Papa's well-known flavor.
Young's title track is actually enhanced by a convincing reply in the chorus from DaBrat. But then, as if to take two steps back, "Live and Die for Hip-Hop" badly misses the mark. This slow bump and grind would be more aptly titled "Live and Die for Pop R&B." Da Brat puts in another guest appearance, but this time sounds misplaced as she delivers a ruff-neck rhyme over the song's luscious, laid-back loop. One has to wonder if Dupri sacrificed the quality of the song simply to promote another of his artists here.
As born-again players, Kelly and Smith are eager to publicize how hard they are--thus the meaning behind "Dangerous" in this album's title ("Young" and "Rich" require no explanation). Dupri even turns over songwriting and production credits to the pair on "Hey Sexy" and "Money, Power and Fame." Unfortunately, the two cuts are just plain wickety-wack.
Out of the 12 tracks listed for Young, Rich and Dangerous, only eight are actual, complete songs. The rest of the 30-minute CD is made up of one tepid remix of "Tonite's Tha Night" (this time utilizing Dr. Dre's voice) and three contrived sketches--all part of the aforementioned true player campaign. "We just feel like we got more knowledge than a lotta people in the business right now," Smith offers in one played-out "interview" segment.
The two other sketches create a player's party ambiance, complete with lightly misogynistic dialogue, which falls flatter than the preteen girls Kris Kross is supposedly trying to seduce. Kelly and Smith may be old enough to drive now, but they still can't buy a 40-ounce bottle of beer, and they sure as hell can't buy respect.--P-Body Scott