TVT Records Website
Buy Lumidee at Amazon
Buy Ying Yang Twins at Amazon

a certain reason why I’m schlepping out reviews here at CHUD and not, Vibe, or some other music site. Well, actually there’s
two: one is that Dave Davis wasn’t working for any of those guys, and
two is that I can go on ad nauseum about movies, but when it comes to
music, I pretty much don’t give a rat’s ass anymore. Let’s quickly
review what we have to choose from. First up is Country. I’m not a
Southerner, nor a NASCAR fan nor do I like deer hunting, so that’s
pretty much out. Adult Contemporary: I still have by balls attached so
no thank you. Christian / Gospel: White and Black versions of the same
stuff that doesn’t float my boat. Pop: Stopped listening when New Kids
On The Block hit and haven’t gone back since. Rock: Aha, here we’re a
little sketchy. On the one hand, there is some rock I can get down
with, but it’s mostly 20 and 30 years old. Today you could put up in
successive order songs by Blink 182, Maroon 5 and System of a Down and
if I had a gun pointed to my head extorting me to pick them out, I’d
probably end up with a new cranial orifice.

Then you have Hip
Hop and Rap… Admittedly, this is mostly the music that I tend to
gravitate towards. But it’s gotten full of so much repetitive bullshit
that at times it’s hard to stomach. If I could enact five immutable yet
simple rules of rap, I think the number of musical acts would dwindle
down to a handful and that’ll tell you where the state of the industry
is today.

To wit, Oliver’s Rap Laws:

1. Rappers can no longer mention any of the following in any of their songs:

  • Rolling on 20s, or deuce zeroes or any other permutation of wheels.
  • The words crunk, skeet, bling, paper, skrilla, nor anything ending with –izzle.
  • How big their car is, how much money they have, being in a club, any kind of after party, Hennessy, Courvoisier, Cristal (not an issue since the Hip Hop boycott, but just to be safe), nor how much quiff the rapper has banged.
  • Keeping
    it gangsta if the rap artist has never even been arrested or if his
    parent(s) has a median income of at least $30,000 per year.

Sampling and/or Remixes are now illegal. Rappers can no longer use so
much as a guitar strum from any previous musical act, especially greats
such as the isleys, Marvin Gay or Al Green.

3. Rappers can have
no more than two guest performers on a song. If the credits on a song
look like the phone book, this is deemed to be in breach of the law.

  • Special Corollary: No musical performer can have R. Kelly doing more than 50% of the singing on their song. No exceptions.

No beef between rap stars will be given any street cred whatsoever
without first getting confirmation of said beef from an independent
investigation that it’s not just a ploy to boost record sales.

5. Rapping about the objectifying of women is still allowed and in fact encouraged.

these five laws into effect, and I believe it’d be fair to say that
most of what’s wrong with Hip Hop and Rap will be taken care of. But of
course, all this is neither here nor there in terms of the musical
offerings below. I just felt like blowing off some steam…

Anyway, the below are all artists on the TVT Records Label some you may know, others they want you to get to know.

Lumidee feat. Tony Sunshine – She’s Like the Wind

Lumidee’s Offical Site
TVT Records’ Lumidee Page

Lumidee is a an R&B singer of (I believe) Puerto Rican descent who so far has charted with the single, Never Leave You (Uh Oooh, Uh Oooh) in 2003. Now she’s back with a single, which is a cover of, of all things, the 20-year-old Patrick Swayze’s song, She’s Like the Wind, from Dirty Dancing.
Now normally, this might generally be considered to be in violation of
Oliver’s Rap Law #2, but said law doesn’t apply because covers are
allowed. If not, we wouldn’t have some of Aaliyah’s better work of
covering some Isley Brothers songs such as Choosey Lover or (At Your Best) You Are Loved.
But in this case, Lumidee’s version is just a Hip Hop redo of a song
that was of footnote status at best. Tony Sunshine does the singing and
Lumidee provides the hooks. The original is still better and that’s not
saying all that much. Although for the record, Tony could make a career
doing Usher impressions as he sounds very much like him.

the radio version of the song, the instrumental, acapella, and a
22-second callout version, the purpose of which I have yet to discern.

3.3 out of 10

Ying Yang Twins – Chemically Imbalanced

Ying Yang Twins’ Official Site

Ying Yang Twins are easily the biggest name act that TVT provided to
us. They’re a rap duo consisting of Kaine and D-Roc, who are
representin’ out of the ATL. Their two biggest hits to date have been Salt Shaker with Lil Jon and the endlessly annoying yet catchy Wait (The Whisper Song), where they whisper the entire song. Salt Shaker was
also quite a catchy (i.e. crunk) tune a couple of years ago, but
overall, I’m not that much into the Ying Yang. Atlanta’s is pretty much
ruling the Hip Hop scene right now, and I like a lot of the acts that
have come out like Ludacris, T.I. and others, but another duo to come
out of Atlanta is OutKast, and Ying Yang aren’t anywhere near their
level. TVT actually provided their entire new album, Chemically Imbalanced,
which featured 14 tracks in all. There’s plenty of party ballads, bad
language, and several violations of Oliver’s Rap Laws. The newest cuts
off the album are Jigglin’ and Dangerous.

6.4 out of 10

New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day’s MySpace Page
TVT Records’ New Year’s Day Page

is a band, probably up and coming, and they rock it teeny bop chick
metal style. Don’t be surprised if you hear one or more of their songs
on any CW Network show in the near future. They have five songs on the
disc: I Was Right, So Long, Razor, Who We Are and Away.
Not too big of a stretch to say that these guys and dolls are going to
appeal to the Clearasil crowd (preferably with ovaries) and not much
else. Certainly not my cup o’ tea. I liked their music better when it
was Ashley Simpson, Brooke Hogan, Britney Spears, Hilary Duff, Avril
Levigne, yadda yadda yadda. I think I’m about as old as all of the band
members collectively.

2.2 out of 10

The Cinematics – Break

The Cinematics’ Official Site

The Cinematics are another group I’ve never
caught wind of, but they’re a Glasgow foursome who formed in 2003 and
credit The Cure, Talking Heads and Smashing Pumpkins as their
influences. They have a four-song EP called Break, featuring the title track, Burning Light, Sunday Sun and Home.
Their sound, although not generally what I’d be bumping in my Ipod
(okay my wife’s Ipod, I don’t have one), actually goes into the ears
fairly smoothly, with Home
being the track that appealed to me the most. I’m not with it enough to
know if this is art or not, but I kind of liked it. Several more songs
would have been better than just four.

5.1 out of 10