Album Reviews

Ying Yang Twins – Chemically Imbalanced

(TVT) UK release date: 5 March 2007

Ying Yang Twins - Chemically Imbalanced Kaine and D-roc, known to most as the Ying Yang Twins slipped into consciousness with Wait (Whisper Song) filling a Lil’ Jon shaped void in the hip-hop world in late 2005. What nobody seemed to realise then was that Lil’ Jon not screaming over every track he’d poured crunk juice onto was a good thing. We should’ve let the ridiculous fad of crunk or strip-hop die its inevitable death.

Instead, the Ying Yang Twins continued to represent America’s A-Town by selling over a million copies of the United State of Atlanta (U.S.A.). Incidentally this was their second consecutive platinum selling album. People were actually buying into their filthy bass lines and filthier lyrics.

The thing is that everyone who buys a Ying Yang Twins album is wasting their money, and I’ve developed a cost saving device for all those who have been tempted to part with their hard-earned. I’ll not even charge for this revolutionary mechanism. All you need to do is purchase a chosen Ying Yang Twins track, press play, and then repeat it for an hour.

The overall effect is exactly the same as that with listening to at least the first half of Chemically Imbalanced as the album is cleverly split into two; the first half being the same noise nine times, while the second half is a different same noise nine times. Credit where credit’s due, symmetry is always a good thing.

The first half of the album is the Twins’ trademark sound, which I’m sure works brilliantly in a sweaty Atlanta club but this is the UK and the A-Town sound is a completely out of place intruder. It only encourages people like Tim Westwood into saying silly things and dropping bombs.

Chemically Imbalanced’s second half speeds up the sound of the first half slightly while letting Wyclef Jean loose on the production decks creating a mash up with some calypso beats from the former Fugee. Completing the family affair, Wyclef’s cousin Jerry ‘Wonda’ Duplesis also earns production credits. That’s the same pair who inflicted Shakira‘s Hips Don’t Lie onto the world, by the way.

The combo does offer Chemically Imbalanced’s one saving grace (this should be the one track you purchase to follow in my money saving method) with the album’s lead single Dangerous. It isn’t even that good a track, basically it’s everything you would expect from the Ying Yang Twins, Wyclef Jean and a guitar being thrown in a room together (pounding bass and a catchy hook) but in relative terms Dangerous is a masterpiece. It even has a snippet of Ram Jam‘s Black Betty glued onto the end.

There’s no way of really explaining the need, or merits of that but it summarises the album succinctly. There is no need for this, and because I’ve done the listening for you, fortunately there is no need for you to go out and buy this album.

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Ying Yang Twins – Chemically Imbalanced