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8 Ball 

Almost Famous: Chopped and Screwed (8 Ways Entertainment)

By employing the chopped-and-screwed mix method -- a style developed by Houston's own DJ Screw, which slows down a song's tempo for a lurching, dizzying effect similar to the kind of high generated by codeine cough syrup -- southern DJs have produced a spate of slurring, visceral remix albums that often sound better than the originals. If you generally like the Ying Yang Twins' production, but can't stand listening to their raps because, well, the sheer ignorance of "Wait" causes your brain to melt, this style is the way to go.

OG Ron C's remix of 8 Ball's Almost Famous enhances its predecessor -- a compendium of vague, conventional raps that mostly deal with survival and triumph in the game -- by deepening the artist's voice and making it possible to hear all the individual percussion sounds. The best tune here is the "Stop Playin' Games" remix with Jadakiss, Keith Murray, and MJG, because lyrics about gettin' brains and flippin' 'caine somehow make more sense when you bring the vocals down a few decibels and make the beat sound like primordial ooze.

More by Rachel Swan

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