Merry Go Round

by: Delinquent Habits

From the moment the polished Merry Go Round kicks in, it's DJ O.G. Styles dominating the proceedings with his squiggly sounding scratches, Spanish guitar loops, and tinkling piano samples, which overshadow rappers Ives and Kimo's decent but undistinguished rhyming. The album's other rising star is Michelle, a Latin siren who appears on three songs singing mostly in Spanish. There are no shortage of strictly West Coast, cruising-with-the-top-down-passing-a-fatty-type tunes like "Boulevard Star" and "Return of the Tres." Thankfully, Delinquent Habits don't overdo it with the pot references, which is about as tired a subject in Latin rap as shootin' and killin' folks is in mainstream rap. The Habits' lyrics are also extremely laid-back and free of any reference to gangs and violence, except when they occasionally dis that whole scene. In fact, the majority of Merry Go Round sounds very phat indeed. Perhaps there is a radio programmer out there willing to take a chance and reach out to rap radio's huge Latino audience, but, regardless, Delinquent Habits have fashioned the finest melding of hip-hop and Latin grooves to date. ~ Adam Bregman

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