Local Wire

Ying Yang Twins

Like their collaborator Lil Jon, Atlanta's Ying Yang Twins (the team of Kaine and D-Roc) burst onto the mainstream as the ambassadors of brash, bass-heavy urban club anthems, i.e., crunk. U.S.A. is expected to surpass the platinum achievement of its predecessor, Me & My Brother, and deservedly so. The Twins begin by cutting the critics off at the pass with "F*** the Ying Yang Twins," which swipes at their birth defects (Kaine walks with a palsy-induced limp, D-Roc's missing a few digits on his hands and feet), as well as the perceived shortcomings of their funk. Recently, they've received as much praise as they have hell for "Wait (The Whisper Song)," a pop hit that is either sexy or lewd depending on whom you ask. By sandwiching the song (and its sequel, "Pull My Hair") in between three funny "Sex Therapy" skits featuring "do me" women talking about what they want in the bedroom, the Twins seem to be asserting that "Wait" is not about victimizing women, as some believe. With standout collaborations from Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine, Bun B (of Dirty South pioneers UGK), and, via sampling, the '80s dance beats of Art of Noise, George Krantz, and Debbie Deb, U.S.A. is a more thoughtful, musical and lyrical presentation than earlier efforts. But it definitely could have been edited a bit -- the listening public does not need a 23-track album.
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Tamara Palmer