When one hears about Da Backwudz, a sense of Georgia flavor
emerges. The stereotypical rides, rims and chicks are topics on the album,
right? Well, yes. However, it isn’t the only thing on their minds. With so much
Southern Hip Hop flooding the market today, it would certainly be easy to brush
off Dirty South acts as simply another drop in the bucket, but it would be
unjust to do that here.

Right from the jump the duo Sho-Nuff and Big Marc set it off, differentiating themselves from
the pack. The introduction, “Welcome
to Da Backwudz,” sounds more like Outkast than Lil Jon.
The instrumental is soothing and upbeat as the emcees pledge to educate through
music. It’s a nice mixture of various sounds as you can tell the Southern drawl
is present, the hood aspect is covered and the fun-loving tempo is thrilling.
Their diversity is explained with a line from the second verse of the album: “Church
music and oldies and R&B consoled me, but nothing sounded better than what
the Hip Hop told me.”

The range continues to expand with the soulful and catchy “You’re Gonna Luv Me” followed by the Killer
Mike
assisted, bounce-filled “Getting
2 It.” “I’ll Do” is a
wonderful beat with an accompanying acoustic guitar and sped-up vocal sample.
It is followed by a very different but energizing electric guitar fueled “Lock and Load.”

Their lyrical arsenal is also not one-sided. They can take you from romantic
mishaps (“The World Could Be Yours”)
to nice storytelling “Feelin’ Lonely.”
Later, the duo dives into the advice from their mothers (“Momma Always Told Me”), and find time
to attack wack DJs on a nicely flipped Sade sample (“Same Song”). They get sentimental on
“What You Know Bout My Life” as
they discuss divorce and single parent households in the hood. To add to the
concoction, Nas and Slim Thug make appearances on the same track
(“You Gonna Luv Me (Remix)”)
and add their flavors to the pot.

The downfall of the album lies in clichés. The “money/hustling” tracks get
monotonous. The weak punch lines, (“Pay me like a parking meter”) don’t
exactly thrill an audience. A corny beat like “I Don’t Like the Look of It” simply takes away from the overall
project. Skits that aren’t funny and aren’t necessary also take away from what
the LP could have been.

Nevertheless, the album isn’t what one would expect. It’s full of fresh sounds
ranging from rough to relaxing. The topics are more or less balanced to reach
many different people. However, diversity and range don’t necessarily equal
‘good,’ as is the case here. They blend in many styles and spices in their LP
and that’s not always so bad. However, one bad ingredient could ruin an
otherwise great meal. With a few missteps along the way, Da Backwudz
manage to pull together a decent appetizer. Hopefully their next album will be
heartier.