Punishing beats, a strong hook and a voice with some serious street savvy has given 17-year-old J-Kwon a rap and pop hit with the white-hot single "Tipsy." So is the rest of his debut album, "Hood Hop," worth a double-take? Oh yeah.
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J-Kwon says he's bent on introducing the "'hood" to "pop," and he's like Nelly with a mean streak when he raps on "Parking Lot." "I don't like to talk a lot, I got two words for you _ parking lot." Evidently that's where scores got settled during J-Kwon's admittedly rough St. Louis upbringing, which he brings to life vividly throughout the album.
There's a clean crushing bass that provides the backbone for the tracks on "Hood Hop." And there's still something a little raw about J-Kwon _ a bit unpolished _ that demands your attention. Perhaps youth, like LL Cool J back in the day, is J-Kwon's best calling card. It convinced superproducer Jermaine Dupri to cultivate J-Kwon and stick him on his So So Def label, so who's to argue?
The album is good, but "Tipsy" is hands-down the thickest rap song of this young year, as he smoothly whips together lyrics about being confident in a nightclub and swigging courtesy of a fake ID.
Amid sex themes and gunplay, it's not exactly the stuff you'll want your high school sons and daughters listening to, but try and stop 'em.
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