Another hip-hop duo coming from Decatur, east of Atlanta, (best known as the "Dirty South"), has released its debut album, Wood Work, with a bang. With a single and music video to already hit the public's eyes and ears, this duo is definitely worth keeping up with. These two are so talented that they are already called the next Outkast, who everybody knows as a major success.
Da Backwudz consists of two cousins: Marcus "Big Marc" Thomas and James "Sho-Nuff" Redding. Don't be fooled by the intimidating nicknames; their fathers raised them on mostly gospel music and it was their inspiration to become hopeful musicians in their future. The name "Da Backwudz" refers to both their "hood" in Georgia and represents their family/black history.
In 2004, they joined up with producer Milwaukee Black to help hone the style of music that was best fit for this duo. They later collaborated with Rowdy Records Head Producer Dallas Austin, who assisted with additional touches and gave the album its talented feature artists that will make Wood Work a huge success. Austin has worked with the likes of Monica, TLC, Madonna and Michael Jackson.
What makes this album stand out from other "Dirty South" artists is that it doesn't solely focus on "crunk" music. The duo uses its lyrical prowess to address significant issues they have faced in their lives, ranging from women and relationships to the hardships of street life. Wood Work offers music for diverse groups of people, and it is clear they are attempting to reach a wide audience with the combination of fresh lyrics and beats.
Their first single off the album, "You Gonna Love Me," hit radio waves last year with strong praises. It is sensual music with a light rap that helps secure their persona. In addition, on the album, there is a more hardcode remix that features Nas and Slim Thug. They incorporate an even bigger rap part on this version to give it a more clubbish feel. It was definitely a good choice to open with this as the first single because it gives listeners a feel for the type of music they are bringing with the rest of the album. This song predominantly targets the ladies and is very catchy. Other songs on the album that are similar are "The World Can Be Yours" and "I'll Do."
The first video, "I Don't Like The Look Of It" is extremely distinctive from any music video currently on music television networks. The concept of the video stems from Tim Burton's remake of the film "Charlie and The Chocolate Factory." The golden ticket, oompa loompas and the bright color schemes are all incorporated with the big cars and 20-inch rims for the concept of the song. It is a creative combination that works well. The song has an interesting beat that will get listeners nodding their heads along with smiles on their faces. Other songs that follow the traditional rap music trend with funky beats are "Welcome to The Back Wudz," "Making Money, Counting Hundreds" and "Gettin 2 it" featuring Killer Mike.
Other than talking about the usual girls, partying and riches, Da Backwudz uses the album to touch on personal issues they want to share with the public. One of these songs is "Mama Always Told Me" featuring R&B artist (and frequent Outkast collaborator) Sleepy Brown. It is a more slow-paced song that is lyrically bountiful. They talk about their pasts and dealing with rough situations: "Patience is a virtue / keep your enemies close / till they might lurk you … Listen, everybody's living for commission / money is the object, survival of the fittest."
It is a very powerful song that raises important life lessons. Other songs on Wood Work that touch personal issues and have deep lyrical content and soft, dark music are "Feeling Lonely," "Same Song" and "What You Know About My Life."
All of the songs on Wood Work are something fresh and unexpected from a typical Georgia rap group. They are risking heavy amounts by debuting such an unusual hip-hop/rap album. However, people will see its talent lyrically and musically right from the first song and straight through to the last. Da Backwudz should certainly become well known after Wood Work, likely staying around for a long time.
Rating: 4 out of 5