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Hitman Sammy Sam, The Step Daddy (Universal)
The leadoff single (and title track) walks the ever-popular line between hilarious and disturbing, as Sammy Sam gets his Bernie Mac on in a sparring match with a chorus of charmingly bratty tykes. "You ain't my daddy!" they protest, and he, ever the loving (step)father, retorts: "Shut up!" It's good, clean fun, and, like Outkast's "Ms. Jackson", accomplishes the rare feat of taking a topic that's almost certainly new to hip-hop and making it sound as traditional as a party anthem. A good dose of the song's charm is that the tension between impotent rage and grudging affection seems true to life, but unfortunately the rest of The Step Daddy doesn't even come close. It's a mess of gun-clap histrionics, hollow threats, and the sort of boasts that indicate a traumatic childhood, all of it over ugly "bounce" beats that do anything but. Look for the single (outside of the Dirty Dirty it's probably somewhere on the bottom end of your radio dial), but otherwise this is a pass.