Artist: Young DroTitle: Best Thang Smokin’Rating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Alejandro Mojado
Grand Hustle is quickly becoming a house hold name among Hip-Hop heads outside the southern states and and the label is on par to make 2006 their year with another release. This time Young Dro drops Best Thang Smokin’ (Grand Hustle/Atlantic), his first major league offering. Best Thang Smokin’, essentially picks up where Gangsta Grillz: Day One, released earlier this year with labelmate DJ Drama, left off. This latest effort does contain a couple of tracks that may have been heard before; however the never before heard additions are definitely jewels.
Lyrically, Dro hasn’t changed much. His topics range from the gritty reality of Bankhead living to the more plush reality of being an artist from a successful camp. Of course no Young Dro CD would be complete without tales of tropical painted Chevys and girlfriends who have girlfriends. Production is something Best Thang Smokin’ is most definitely not lacking. Grand Hustle’s own Lil C handles the beats for many of the tracks including “Gangsta” and “My Girl”. While super-producer Jazze Pha also lends his musical mastery for several tracks as well including “U Don’t See Me” and “Fresh”. Although tracks such as “Rubberband Banks” and “Presidential” have been buzzing around the A for a while, they are still hot and should not be discounted. Heck, you can still see people doing the “Shoulder Lean” in the club.
There are very few cameos on Best Thang Smokin’‚ but they well placed. No Grand Hustle release would be complete without a cameo from the Bankhead ambassador himself, T.I., who shows his lyrical prowess on “My Girl” and “Shoulder Lean”. Also, the Grand Hustle/Texas connection continues with a special guest appearance from Houston’s own Slim Thug who does his thug thizzle on “U Don’t See Me”. And perhaps the sexiest female rappers in the A-Town, Bola and Sunshine of XTACI leave their prints on “100 Yard Dash”. However, for the most part, Young Dro holds his own on this 15 track opus proving that there is more to the rapper than just drop top spyders with the candy yam on ’em.
All in all, Best Thang Smokin’ is a solid release. The fifteen track disc is perfect for getting crunk with tracks like “Presidential” all the way to setting the mood with tracks like “My Girl”. Best Thang Smokin’, is definitely representing the A-town in full Bankhead fashion with crunk beats, and rims spinnin‚though, not much else.