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Baby Bash

Cyclone

(Arista; US: 30 Oct 2007; UK: Available as import)

While his latest offering could easily have become just another clone, Baby Bash instead rips through the hip-hop landscape with a Cyclone. Bash strikes a delicate balance with the crisp sound on the disc. Neither too over-produced or under-produced, the kid presents a smooth blend of old-school pop/R&B flavoring to his Latin-tinged hip-hop stylings. Mostly light-hearted throughout, Cyclone features a strong mix of grind-worthy dance floor tracks as well as some slow, introspective pieces. “Just Like That” brims with tribal drumming that would sound more at home in a metal track creating a winding groove that hypnotizes, contrasted by lightning-quick lyrical flow. The pensive “Too Many Things” breaks things up with acoustic chords reminiscent of a much more melodic version of Everlast.  Emblematic of Bash’s throwback style to beat-heavy, danceable late ‘80s and early ‘90s R&B, “Don’t Stop” features a cameo appearance by the legendary Keith Sweat. Sweat is just one of many artists to pop up in a guest spot on Cyclone alongside One Republic, Andrea of the all-girl R&B group Danity Kane, and the combo of T-Pain and Lil Jon on the disc’s catchy, chart-climbing title track.  While it would be easy for Bash to take a more common route and rap about the addiction and family turmoil he’s witnessed first-hand, instead, he offers a refreshing take, incorporating the best of modern hip-hop with his own twist.

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