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Review for 857's Stand Out

 article about Review for 857s Stand Out
The latest offering of young hip hop groove kings 857, Standout, fulfills its prophecy. It runs the gamut of social landscapes right from the terror-soaked intro of a guy being brutally terrorized á la Vanilla Ice and Suge Knight of legend all the way to the CD's end, Chillin' Remix -- a fun little ditty, that one! Writer YKC takes us on a trip through the urban jungle, from the cribs to the hot spots, with a few stops to dwell in dark alleys of thought between. Composer Al-G has a great ear across the board. Effectively harnessing such varied influences as classical piano, Gregorian chant, Caribbean steel, and gritty guitar, his hand gives each cut a pretty individual sound, while still managing to make the CD as a whole a fairly cohesive compilation.

YKC's website bio states that he "…writes like he spent a while in prison…" Yes. Indeed he does. Blood is a vitriolic piece aimed at a consistently disappointing family which hits its mark dead-on. Deranged seems to be an homage to some nameless product of just such dysfunction. Dark, downright scary; these tunes will make you shiver.

The impish, make you want to slap'em-AND-hug'em naughty little boys come out to play in full regalia in tunes like Barface, an extremely mean-spirited take on lounge lizards whose intro is reminiscent of TLC's Reversal of a Dog (1992), but quickly launches into its own little groove; Wingman, featuring a contribution by Impulse Society, is a hilarious cut dedicated to the guys who corral backstage groupies; and Yo Mom and I.

Banned Aid, Next Level, and Eruption all carry great sound; and Up In There are guaranteed to make you wistful for the sunscreen and rum.

Social commentary even makes an appearance through such vehicles as Frontpage and Prime Time; and inspiration to transcend through The Real You is effective. 

Overall, this is a really good effort. Fantastic sound, evocative lyrics, and the right energy to capture both; Standout is one to add to the collection… and 857 is the hip hop group for which to look out.

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