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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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Lana Cooper has written various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2006. She's also written news stories for EDGE Media, a nationwide network devoted to LGBT news and issues. In 2013, she wrote her first novel, Bad Taste In Men, described as one part chick lit for tomboys and one part Freaks and Geeks for kids who came of age in the mid-'90s. She lives in Philadelphia and enjoys spending time with her family, reading comic books, and avoiding eye contact with strangers on public transportation. A graduate of Temple University, Cooper doesn't usually talk about herself in the first person, but makes an exception when writing an author bio.


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