No matter how good a job you’ve done of avoiding the traditional outlets of commerical Hip-Hop (radio & television,) it’s nigh impossible you’ve managed to miss out on the ubiquitous “You’re a Jerk,” by teen group the New Boyz. As always a summer single has birthed an early fall LP as the California natives try to continue the momentum and cash in on their debut Skinny Jeans and a Mic.
The album meets expectations set by the single. This is bubble gum Hip-Hop aimed at a younger crowed less interested in deep metaphorical rhyme play as opposed to one-liners and relishing in your Twitter updates. All the bases are covered, from footwear (the rip-off “Colorz,”) to the drunken teen lust of “One Night.” The dynamic duo of Ben J and Legacy occasionally fail to meet the low standards they’ve set for themselves—the puzzling “Dot Com,” finds the junior MCs appending the phrase to the end of every rhyme with absolutely no regard for meaning or context. “22 Two’s” it ain’t.
That’s not to say the duo doesn’t show signs of promise, or at least convince you that they have some musical sensibility behind them. The minimalist production consistently bangs giving you something to nod your head to even on the more mundane moments. Tracks such as “Bunz’” have a neat old school vibe that gives the New Boyz ode to apple bottom’s a fresh feel. The faux-Neptunes template does wear thin eventually as tracks like “Cashmere,” and “So Dope,” sound a little too stitched together on someone’s Mac.
Despite some decent beats, the New Boyz can’t mask the fact that their lyrical sophistication barely betters that of your average junior high playground. “Way 2 Many Chicks,” one of their better lyrical efforts exemplifies their reliance on fleeting toilet humor: there’s only so many times you can get a chuckle out of the line “She tried to kiss me in my sleep/I woke up and screamed/she had a cold sore that looked like John McCain…” By the time guest singer D&D is crooning “I need a girl to give me some Good Lovin’/Cause I’m known as McLovin…’” on the sugary “New Girl,” it’s hard to stop yourself from reaching for the skip button.
With Skinny Jeans and a Mic, the New Boyz may have made the album of a 12 year old girls’ dreams. But the more sophisticated fans of Hip-Hop will have to wait and see if the Boyz can grow up.
New Boyz – “Dot Com” Video