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On Top Of Our Game - Dem Franchize Boyz

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Genre: Hip-Hop & Rap - Gangsta & Hardcore / Artist: Dem Franchize Boyz / Import / Audio CD released at Virgin

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      29.02.2008 17:36
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      Dem Franchize Boyz' second album

      "On Top of Our Game" is the second album from the Atlanta-based Hip Hop group, Dem Franchize Boyz (DFB). They received a considerable amount of criticism from this album because some Hip Hop legends felt that calling it this was degrading what the original vision of the genre was.

      This crews style of Hip Hop is the prevalent one in Atlanta its snap music. It's called this because the beat is a finger snap rather than the beat of a snare drum. This sound makes it easy for the listeners to recreate when they dance to it. Dem Franchize Boyz ensued a heated rivalry between D4L around this time, because of the difference of opinion of who created snap music, a debate which never came to a conclusion.

      Snap music is merely another alternative Hip hop style which has come out of the Dirty South. Its foundations are similar to how Dirty South as a whole came about as well as Crunk and Hood Rock, through experimentation. Now it has taken America over, and it may come here to with artist like Crime Mob, Jibbs and Soulja Boy coming through with this style.

      Snap follows the movement in Jamaica where artist like Tony Matterhorn, Sean Paul and Elephant Man make up dance moves and then they base a song around it. This is how it has been getting so popular. 'The Snap' was the first one to see action world-wide after being created in Atalnta by Dem Franchize boyz, and many others are included on "On Top of Our Game".

      This album managed to reach number five in the Billboards, but didn't see much action elsewhere. It is a certified Gold and was one of the first of its style to do so.

      "My Music" (feat. Bun B)

      **Three Stars**

      Bun B, the featured artist is a member of the Houston rap crew UGK, Underground Kingz. Big Bun is one of my favourite artists from Houston, Texas, so I was excited to see that he was appearing on this album.

      He comes with his usual gangsta ways, saying how he lives his life, alls the struggles he's gone through and what its like to live now with everything he wants. He just makes you feel as though your life doesn't compare, no atter how well you think you are doing. He has built-up an underground kingdom, without anyones aid, not many can say tha there are this successful, without mainstream knowledge.

      This one isn't quite what I would expect from DFB. This track isn't as good as a club track, its just one to listen to by yourself. The raps are typical of the group, talking about their white tees and what they are sitting on.

      "Oh, I Think They Like Me (So So Def Remix)" (feat. Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat & Bow Wow)

      **Five Stars**

      This was the track which got me into snap music. It is what I think of first when someone mentions the genre, because the tune was so big. This one is the anthem for snappers and the dance goes with it well.

      This is the remix of a track which came with the album prior to this by Dem Franchize Boyz. The remix has some added input by leading So So Def artist, they are headed by Jermaine Dupri (JD), obviously, because he signed them to the label, as well as Bow Wow and Da Brat. JD made this track perfect, before it was something great, but its completed now he added extra touches, as well as other artists.

      The theme that the group talk about is about having the feeling that a girl is onto them. It sounds as if they are on a huge hype on this feeling, because the music is full of energy, this extra stuff is exherted through dancing, which i can imagine they were doing whilst recording this.

      "Ridin' Rims"

      **Five Stars**

      This one is all about how Dem Franchize Boyz only sit on whips that are on 23 inch rims, nothing less. Many others get jeallous as they only have 20", but they have as many as what Lebron James wears on his back.

      If you haven't followed any of that, then you wouldn't get this tune. it's all about the group and how they only ride high in their cars. They go on to describe various features of what they drive, and how their cars are received by the community.

      "Bricks 4 The High" (feat. Jim Jones & Dame Dash)

      **Four Stars**

      The beat for this is mad, it is a pure Crunk one that hits you immediately with it's pounding bass and gunshot sound effects, typical of Atlanta rap beats. It is a great one and I enjoyed it a lot as they talk about their continuous hustle. I'm not a fan of Jim Jones at all, but the rhymes which he put down were alright on this track so I liked him for once.

      I'm not sure why Damon Dash is on this record at all he just talks about his hustle at random points throughout the record, just to remind us how rich he is (as if we care). There really is no need in him being there at all, he spoils what was a near perfect record.

      "You Know What It Is"

      **Four Stars**

      This is another decent track for Dem Franchize Boyz and it is pretty typical of them to come with a track like this, it isn't a bad thing because it's good to see that they have their own style and they are showing the world that they are confident about it, so they don't take much influence from for mainstream artists.

      There isn't a particular theme with this one at all it, it's just the DFB Clicc talikng about how real they are and that they are willing to do anything to protect themselves and their business of slinging purp (selling cannabis) at competitive prices (which I found quite funny, but you have to if you want to make more than others).

      "Lean wit It, Rock wit It" (feat. Peanut and Charlay)

      **Five Stars**

      The name of the title is the name of a dance, which originated in Atlanta, I won't say that they created it, because I can't confirm this, however this is who I would associate the dance with. The dance is the most prominant snap dance as it is so simple and can be adapted to individual preferences.

      This track has been quoted in many places, Mike Jones in "My 64" comes to mind as a recent one, as the dance is likely to stay around for a while. it is seen a lot in the clubs everytime a snap song comes on, so you can see the impact it has made on a worldwide audience.

      "Freaky As She Wanna Be" (feat. Trey Songz)

      **Three Stars**

      This is another of the songs released as singles by Dem Franchize Boyz. It featured the R&B singer from Virginia, Trey Songz, who can also be heard on songs by Twista, Plies and Yung Joc. Even though it was released, it didn't managed to get too much air-time this side of the Atlantic, but I feel that it deserves more respect.

      This song takes some influence by the featured artists style, therefore it is somewhat a R&B song, but it still has many aspects to it which make it still be mainly a Hip Hop jam. The chorus and smooth beat are all that really make you fell this way about it.

      This song fits the tenderness of the title. It's content explores the 'freaky-ness' of their girlfriends, so to have it nice and slow fits the theme that they are presenting to the listeners. I liked how that were able to adapt their style to fit the subject of the track, despite sounding like the same group.

      "Stop Callin' Me"

      **Two Stars**

      This is a rather straight-forward record as DFB go on about what the popularity does to them, and how it is uite annoying sometimes when they are being phoned constantly about being potential father's to children or other matters which would give them a reason to pester them.

      You hear quite mysogenous lyrics during this tune which quite annoys me, because it isn't neccessary to go to the extent that they do to put their point across, which is simply to ask the girls not to continue doing what their doing, because they will ignore the calls. The way they put down females may offend some people when they hear this so I wouldn't advise it for everyone.

      "Give Props"

      **Four Stars**

      I found this to contrast with a lot of the material on the album, because this was a lot slower than the majority of what you can here on the LP, it s a good set-up for it as the track isn't as 'in-your-face' as the rest, it takes time to reflect on where the group has got to an shows that they have now got to a stage where they are instantly recognisable as leading 'So So Def' artists.

      The reflection which you can feel here allows them to tell how they have changed their ways a bit, meaning that they no longer have to have potentially dangerous side hustles to make money now that they are where they are today. It's a good sign and may indicate that they will alter their ways quite a bit for the next album, which comes out in a couple of month's time.

      "Suckas Come & Try Me" (feat. DJ Unk)

      **Four Stars**

      Here is a DFB collaboration with the artist who brought us "Walk It Out", DJ Unk(nown). At this time he would have been a little known name in Hip Hop, but in ATL, he may of had a lot more exposure, leading to him being a part of this project with Dem Franchize Boyz on what is a good tune from the LP.

      The them of this is intimidation, that's all the crew do throughout the record, they ask people to have a go at them because they are ure that they will be able to prevail with their extensive weapon selection avaliable to them, which will end up in the opponent getting killed (as they say). It's difficult to argue that they are fakers, but they certainly sound convincing enough to me.

      "Don't Play Wit Me" (feat. Three 6 Mafia)

      **Two Stars**

      Although I like Three 6 Mafia, this one just did not do it for me, because it was the older line-up (which included the now-solo Crunchy Black) and i reallly do not like his music, so the added input didn't aid in making this record better, in fact by adding the Memphis rap group onto here lessened the quality in my opinion.

      It's pretty obvious waht this one is about and it is rather similar to "Stop Callin' Me", which is why I didn't really enjoy listening to it at all, and as it goes on the same lines as another track, they are perhaps not getting enough motivation to write about more varied subjects.

      "They Don't Like That"

      **Three Stars**

      This can be taken as a rebound of "Oh I Think They Like Me", but the track isn't that much like that banger of a record and the theme is quite different as they just go on about how they may like how they look, but underneath, they are much more ruthless and they don't care about what people think of themselves at all.

      "White Tee" (Remix) (feat. Jermaine Dupri & The Kid Slim) [Hidden Track]

      **Five Stars**

      This one is a hidden track, its the remix to the debut track from the group. It is the first of many remixes to this song:

      "White Tee" - Dem Franchize Boyz
      "Black Tee" - Crime Mob
      "Throwbacks" - Chevy Ali
      "White Tee (Girl Version)" - Jara
      "Black Tee (Remix)" - Bun B
      "Blue Tee" - Crime Mob
      "Long Tee" - {Unknown}
      "Pink Tee" - [Cam'Ron diss]
      "Red Tee" - L Blaze
      "Stained Tee" - DJ Shau-al-Wall

      As you can see it started a trend of remixing this original idea, using either the beat from the original, or a basis for the chorus.

      This track was made by the group to explain why they are seen sporting these regularly. They say that it makes you look clean, and if the police want a description of a young black male in Atlanta, they will hit a brick wall when they here he wore Nikes, jeans and a white tee, just as everyone else. It also saves a lot of money in clothes shopping (as you can imagine).

      In conclusion, this is a dissappointing album from Dem Franchize Boyz because from the singles which they brought out, I thought that they were a lot better than this. I'm sure that the group will improve on their music for the next album, but this just really wasn't what I expected from "On Top Of Our Game". I have to say that most other Atlanta rappers are known for their below average rhymes, but Dem Franchize Boyz certainly go against what could work up into a stereotype for the city, so I wan to see bigger and better things from them in "At the Point of no Return".

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  • Product Details

    Disc #1 Tracklisting
    1 My Music - Bun B, Dem Franchize Boyz
    2 I Think They Like Me [So So Def Remix] - Bow Wow, Da Brat, Dem Franchize Boyz, Jermaine Dupri
    3 Ridin' Rims - Dem Franchize Boyz
    4 Bricks 4 the High - Damon Dash, Dem Franchize Boyz, Jim Jones
    5 You Know What It Is - Dem Franchize Boyz
    6 Lean wit It, Rock wit It - Charlay, Dem Franchize Boyz, Jim Jones
    7 Freaky as She Wanna Be - Dem Franchize Boyz, , Trey Songz
    8 Stop Callin' Me - Dem Franchize Boyz
    9 Give Props - Dem Franchize Boyz
    10 Suckas Come and Try Me - DJ Unknown, Dem Franchize Boyz
    11 Don't Play with Me - Dem Franchize Boyz, , Three 6 Mafia
    12 They Don't Like That - Dem Franchize Boyz
    13 White Tee [Hidden Track][Mix] - Dem Franchize Boyz