Raw Dogz

How I Lyve ([email protected])

South Market Bistro 151 South Market Street, Wooster 330-264-3663. Lunch, Tuesday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner, Tuesday through Thursday, 5:30 to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday until 11:30 p.m.
In the intro to an early cut on the Raw Dogz's gritty debut, young MC Dime is toying with his dog, which suddenly grows mean. "Shit, motherfucker turned on me," Dime exclaims. Listening to the neophyte rapper follow such profanity with rugged rhymes that promise to leave foes "laying there bleedin' like a used Tampax," one gets the feeling that adolescent hip-hop has undergone a similar transformation. This dude sounds like Lil' Bow Wow gone rabid.

Indeed, if a puppy-dog rhymer like Bow Wow is content to serve up muzzled mall rap for swooning preteens, the grim-faced Dime is more about breaking bones than hearts. Promising to give you a "first-class ticket to the Cleveland Clinic, nigga," Dime is reminiscent of a young Ice Cube, during the brief period when anger trumped his articulation. He's backed by Dirty, a roughneck Jermaine Dupree type who takes Dime with him on his daily routine: "When I wake up in the mornin' I'm going to shoot some hoops/After that I'm standin' on the corner to make some loot." They're blanketed in beats as routine as the violence in the hood where these two dwell, but there's no denying the forcefulness of songs like the chest-thumping "Flip Flops" or the Ludacris-indebted title cut, on which Dime spits, "I'm reminiscin' about Green Eggs and Ham/Now, if Sam's making money, then Sam I am." Such brazen rhymes from a kid is startling to say the least, making this disc damn near as menacing as Dime's snarling pit bull.

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