[Jacktown] Throwbacks and Hot Acts, by Alphonso Mayfield

Another year has passed. While I must admit that 2003 was hotter than a country nightclub on a Delta summer night, 2004 looks to be even more promising—especially for new groups. But let's begin with the announcement of David Banner's latest release, "MTA2: Baptized In Dirty Water." While critical assessment has been mixed, the album debuted at No. 17 on the R&B and hip-hop charts moving around 50 thousands units. The album also showed a slight increase to 16 the following week. Look for the video for the new single "Crank It Up" (which was recorded in ATL) to be impacting shortly.

If you attended the Snoop concert at Hal & Mal's, you have to admit the joint was rocking when the dog did get on stage. However, I wonder was that due to his performance or the amount of mind-impairing substances consumed during the four-hour delay. (Word has it, the delay had to do with getting his family checked into local hotels). I'll let you be the judge.

Reese and Bigelow's latest single "Throw Your Throwbacks On," an ode to the throwback phenomenon, has been playing on radios throughout the city. Look for the duo's new album to be released later this year.

While I'm on the subject of singles impacting, I ran into Lex Luga of Souf State Connected. We chopped it up a little, and the group is definitely trying to do big things in '04. Look for the single "Damn Right," produced by Donnie Cross, to be making some noise soon.

Besides releasing singles, quite a few local acts have albums that are supposed to drop soon. China Boy is set to go the independent route to release his project pretty soon. Then you have three acts from the MI_CROOKED that I expect to make a major impact on the game as a whole. The first is a new group from Clarksdale named Hollow Point, whose album is going to be released on Sony later this year. The group is hot, and I expect them to get extreme play and move heavy units.

Another hot act is rapper/producer Donnie Cross. I spoke with him over the holidays, and he told me his album should drop around June. Expect a mixture of street melodies and gangster give-me-your-money-or-die tracks.

Lastly, an album I am definitely looking for is the solo debut from UGK alumni, Smoke D. If you have heard anything from Smoke then you know that his music combines powerful street narratives with political commentary. You can expect a veritable who's who of southern hip-hop to make an appearance.

Write Jacktown at [e-mail missing] Mail CDs and press materials to: P. O. Box 2047, Jackson, Miss., 39225.


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