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Ray Cash

C.O.D.: Cash on Delivery (Ghet-O-Vision/Sony Urban)

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For four magic minutes on his major-label debut, Cleveland rapper Ray Cash transcends hip-hop's undying territorial disputes. Like much of the disc, "Bumpin' My Music" sports a familiar Georgia bounce, but the song is an homage to urban stars from various places and times. By giving love to BDP, UGK, and the late Rick James, Cash reminds listeners that you can find something worthwhile in most musical styles and creates his own minor classic.

On the rest of Cash on Delivery, Cash shows he's a serious student of such old-school titans as N.W.A. and Scarface. Getting beyond them to create his own sound is trickier; "Fuck Amerikkka" is the same dull indictment of The Man that you've heard a million times over, and the recurrent "I-had-to-sell-drugs" theme is equally stale. Cash's mischievous drawl is definitely endearing, though, and when he applies it to freakazoidal throwdowns like "Sex Appeal" and "Fiends, Fiends, Fiends," or the tongue-twisting lyricism of "Payback," C.O.D. delivers.

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