Twista

Kamikaze (Atlantic)

It's been a long time coming, but Twista has finally been given the resources to generate an album worthy of his underrated talent. Off the momentum of the insanely popular Kanye West-produced "Slow Jamz," Twista delivers no less than a classic presentation of mid-'90s Southern-esque hip-hop on Kamikaze, giving credence to the South's longtime claim that Chicago is truly the most northern point of the Dirty. Twista and new producer Toxic have crafted an album that's filled with hard-hitting, head-bobbing, bouncing, swiveling sounds. And with the scattered contributions of Kanye West, Jazze Pha, R. Kelly and Wildstyle, the production on this album is as crisp as it comes. But it's the commanding cadence of Twista's sometimes-indiscernible vocals that grabs your attention: "Put chi name on records in the east/Put chi name on records in the west/Put chi name on records in the south/Bitch how you gone open yo mouth."

Elsewhere on the disc, Chicago reps hard when the platinum Midas touch of R. Kelly blesses Twista with what is undoubtedly the album's second single, the smooth "So Sexy." With a long-overdue sampling of Lenny Williams's "'Cause I Love You" on "Overnight Celebrity," Twista and West prove they're no one-hit wonders. Revolving around pimpish braggadocio themes, Kamikaze recalls a simpler, much less complicated time in hip-hop: good music, good systems and easy riding.

 
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