Ying Yang Twins
Feel-good party songs often make people dance and have a good time. But music means much more when thereís another dimension. As kings of the club circuit, the Ying Yang Twins have ridden their zany personas, witty lyrics and Grade-A production to the top of the charts. Sure, they make classic party cuts, but a closer look at their immensely popular work reveals an unrivaled level of humor, sophistication and outlandishness that has helped the Ying Yang Twins earn legions of fans from Los Angeles to the Midwest to their native region, the South.
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The Atlanta-based duo of Kaine and D-Roc have two hit albums (2000ís Thug Walkin and 2002ís Alley: The Return of the Ying Yang Twins) and a string of hit radio and club singles ("Whistle While You Twurk", "Ying Yang In This Thang", "Say I Yi Yi" and "By Myself") to their credit. The instant success of both "Whistle While You Twurk" and "Ying Yang In This Thang" made Ying Yang Twins immediate players in the hip-hop field. Subsequent hits "Say I Yi Yi" and "By Myself" established Kaine and D-Roc as hip-hopís premier party-starters and earned them guest spots on albums from Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz and Kizzy Rock.
The Ying Yang Twins extend their hit streak with the release of their third album, Me & My Brother (Collipark/TVT Records). The new collection, the pairís first on independent powerhouse TVT Records (home to Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz, among others), contains the type of crunktastic club bangers that have earned the pair thousands of loyal fans across the country. "We aim to please everybody," explains Kaine of his groupís infectious sound. "All we want to do is keep smiles on everybodyís faces." Itís evident throughout Me & My Brother that smiles will be easy to come by. Whether highlighting the unnecessary worry caused by hyper-sensitive women on the playful first single "Naggin", the Twins have perfected the art of making credible, memorable hip-hop songs.
"We make things with a catchy vibe, so that youíll be eager to want to get to know the song," Kaine says. "Itís like if you want to holler at a female, youíre going to step your mouthpiece up real good before you say what youíre getting ready to say to her because you donít get a second chance to make a first impression."
The party continues on the hyper "Grey Goose". With a pulsating groove backing them, Kaine and D-Roc salute one of their favorite drinks. Like most of their other song ideas, the concept for "Grey Goose" came about when the friends were just hanging out and having fun.
"When it first came out, it was something that we were crunk off of," D-Roc explains of the Grey Goose beverage. "Everything just comes from tripping. We just sit around and come up with something that somebody else ainít gonna come up with. We sit around and trip. Weíre some quick-witted trash-talkers. With trash-talking comes a brain because Iíve got to talk faster than you if youíre talking trash. Thatís how our songs come about. We talk trash, formulate it, put it together and then it becomes a song. Weíre like two cartoon characters. Cartoon characters are always tripping. Thatís how we come up with everything that we do."
Even though the Ying Yang Twins take every opportunity to have fun, they are also aware of important social issues impacting the Dirty South. On the intense "Calling All Zones" the two address some of the problems residents of Atlanta face in their beloved city. "Youíve got to send love to the home team," D-Roc says. "Thatís basically the reason for it. Itís going to be the jam that everybody wants to hear because itís just for Atlanta."
United via mutual friends at the end of 1996, D-Roc and Kane had to become a rap duo. D-Roc, a solo artist at the time, was signed to Ichiban Records. Producer Beat-In-Azz (then known as DJ Smurf) was also signed to the imprint and was solicited to do a remix for D-Roc. The two became friends and Beat-In-Azz requested that D-Roc be on his album. D-Roc brought Kaine to the recording session. "When I heard them rhyme together,their chemistry, I had never heard anything like that before," Beat recalls. "I told them they needed to be a group. I donít think no one else captures that chemistry on record."
As they started recording, D-Roc and Kaine wanted to make music that would make a mark in their hometown. But their music dream was initially a dream deferred. Things got so rough that the pair had to sleep in their car at times as they chased their goals. But things would soon change for the future Southern stars. In fact, coming out of Atlanta eventually helped the pair, since the Georgia city shows tremendous support to its up-and-coming talent, especially if youíre making music that will move the crowd. For Kaine, the Ying Yang Twins are just getting started in their musical careers. Theyíve established themselves as consistent hitmakers, a group that returns time and time again with the type of music that never falls out of fashion. "Weíre built to last," he says. "We make it catchy so that youíll want to sing along. You know a hit when you hear it first because you donít know how to react." Expect just that from Me & My Brother.
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