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Ali & Gipp

Kinfolk (Universal Motown/Derrty Entertainment)

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An August release for Ali & Gipp's Kinfolk is perfect. The single "Go Head" is tearing up strip clubs fresh on the heels of the pair's smash hit "Grillz," which also features artist-of-the-moment Paul Wall and Nelly (Ali's St. Lunatics compadre). The record also builds on the buzz generated from Cee-Lo's crazy new act Gnarls Barkley (Gipp is a member of Cee-Lo's crew, the Goodie Mob). And damn, Kinfolk even has a timely Laffy Taffy reference!

If only it were August 2006, when Kinfolk was originally scheduled for release, all this would be true. But even though Universal sat on the disc for a year, and even with lyrics that are standard midwest/southern stuff (boasting about having the resources to shop at the mall, etc.), the stripped-down beats are infectious from top to bottom, which is no mean feat for an hour-long work. It may lack the crossover potential of "Grillz" or St. Elsewhere, but one song borrows the vocal hook from Genesis' "That's All," so there's that.

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