Skinny Jeanz & A Mic

by: New Boyz

The New Boyz hit big in summer of 2009 with their stripped-down, poppy slice of novelty rap "I'm a Jerk." On the song, the duo of Ben J and Legacy come off as slightly goofy teenagers with a love for electro beats and sped-up voices. Their debut album follows up the single with a bunch of songs built on the same basic framework of "Jerk," some of them even quoting the sound and lyrics directly. "Dot Com," "Colors," "Turnt," and "So Dope" all have the cheesy drum machines, samples, and off-kilter lyric approach that make "Jerk" so good. It's not too surprising the duo stick to the template, considering the uniqueness of the sound they've created and also the fact that it's a debut record made by teenagers, and an impressive and unfailingly fun debut at that. Though the reliance on the "Jerk" sound can be a little monotonous, there are enough variations along the way to keep things interesting. Songs like the R&B ballad "Tie Me Down" featuring smooth Auto-tuned vocals from Ray J, the B.A.S.S.-inspired "Bunz" (a very funny tribute to Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back"), the slow jam "New Girl," and the rollicking "Cashmere," which bumps along like a New Jack rap jam, are nice diversions. The duo's flow is not incredible but they spit convincingly, and sometimes with real inspiration, about teenage concerns like girls, girls, and more girls. They break it up now and then with boasts about their coolness, but never delve into anything of real substance. If you came to Skinny Jeanz looking for that, though, you have no one to blame but yourself. If you were looking for undisputedly pop-rap with a fresh sound and a light lyrical touch, the New Boyz debut is a fine destination. [A clean version of the album was also released] ~ Tim Sendra

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