Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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***1/2

HYPHY HITZ
TVT

Bay Area hip-hop scene's best bits

Where crunk is a hit-hot style that under various subtitles spans the entire South, hyphy has been confined to the Bay Area. So give it up to TVT for showcasing twenty hyphy tracks that stand as proud, if not quite as tall, as the bangers on its two Crunk Hits comps. With the joy it takes in what Da Muzicianz call "going dumb," hyphy is the funniest hip-hop ever -- stoopid rather than sexay. From A'z's nonsensical "Yadadamean" to Keak Da Sneak and the Farm Boyz's hickoid "AllnDoe" and the D.B.'z's Family Guy-meets-Droopy Dog "Stewy," the best of these songs get around by joking around. Because the beats are very electro -- no power chords or soul samples -- the dealer hype can get tedious fast when everything else isn't just right. But most of these rhymes celebrate the release of using inebriants rather than the rewards that come from selling them. And that -- puritans be damned -- is an improvement and a relief.

Rolling Stone, Jan. 25, 2007