Music Review: Black boy white boy swag

Grand Hustle Presents: Young Dro & Yung La’s “Black Boy White Boy Swag”
Featuring two of Grand Hustle’s most promising artists, both of which  are  ineligible for the title “veteran”, considering Young Dro’s three year hiatus since his Best Thang Smokin album was released, Black Boy White Boy Swag is a pretty compelling mixed tape.  Though Yung LA seldom brings anything to the table lyrically, he does have potential despite the recession currently affecting rappers with surmounting swag which plays a larger role than their content in most cases.  Young Dro often picks up Young Leland Austin’s slack with his signature wordplay and almost overbearing materialistic creativity. The rare occasions where both emcees display equally potent salvoes of firepower in their verses are well appreciated, however.

For instance, on Up Through There, the recycled Shop Boyz instrumental gets the treatment from Dro and LA who nearly does all of his damage by reciting a bunch of rhyming abbreviations (“White GC/ NYB, Yung DC/ ABG { Uahh }”).

Dro’s presence is more welcome than anything, including a few subpar producer efforts and a Lil Boosie feature on the uber-trapper 36 O’s.  Even though fans of the I Am Legend mixed tape already know what to expect from D’Juan Hart, they’ll be disappointed in the least to be reintroduced to the Makin’ All That Money track from Dro’s previous street classic.  However, Dro does take the time to exhibit a new talent that hopefully doesn’t get the Vocoder treatment : singing (and quite harmoniously and on-key which is definitely too much to ask of an artist nowadays; rapper or not.)

But there are tremendous downfalls on this mixtape such as Yung La’s ever predictable track Blessings, which as you can hypothesize from the title has everything to do with a former street-thug with a mohawk appreciating the “blessing’s” instilled in his life by someone omnipotent.

He lists his gratefulness for the “drugs” and for the “guns” and he doesn’t get any less atypical than that for the rest of the album.  The mixed tape would also go good without side orders such as its title track which might be the greatest example of hip-hop needing to rid itself of any types of voice enhancement.

LA’s verses are very dense and not in the matter that Lupe Fiasco describes his songs which are layered with entendres but in the way your mother would respond to listening to Dunn Dunn.  Thankfully Young Dro, the rap game’s Robert Neville (yes I just coined that phrase) salvages this otherwise ashtray of an album, with the same type of hip-hop quotables that put him in your Ipods in the first place (“Im bumping boy, Tonka Toy/ Chevy look like Almond Joy”).

The skits are hilarious on Dro’s part also but whereas Young Dro takes a stance as a rising force on Grand Hustle’s roster, Yung LA’s overt corniness , no matter how relevant it may be to drug dealers, brings down the album’s rating as all you math majors can figure.