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Trillville and Lil Scrappy 

The King of Crunk & BME Recordings Present Trillville & Lil Scrappy (Warner Bros.)

Combining two artists' debuts into one release was sensible marketing for Lil Jon, who sought to bring out further evidence of the young crunk culture of Atlanta. But the maneuver almost begged for competition between Lil Scrappy and the trio Trillville, even though both received the benefit of Jon at the helm. It didn't take long before both sides' dissension and frustration at being lumped together in one package bubbled up through the underground hip-hop press.

Trillville brings a sinister quality to its crunk offerings, which Lil Jon readily matches with minor-key warbles and extra-snarly growls. The trio's single with Jon and Lil Scrappy, "Neva Eva," is catchy enough, but unfortunately, there aren't many others on the disc. What's ultimately missing is sex appeal; there's not much here for the ladies.

Lil Scrappy has more energy than Trillville's three members combined. When his half of the disc starts up with "Crank It," he turns it out like a skilled DJ, with the club bangers "Head Bussa" and "No Problem." Switching from adorable to menacing with the briefest change of expression puts him in good stride with the ladies and the thugs.

More by Tamara Palmer

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