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Goodie Mob: Dirty South Classics


Goodie Mob

Album: Dirty South Classics
Label: Arista

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Throughout its career, Goodie Mob has struggled to emerge from the shadow cast by fellow Dungeon Family member OutKast. Needless to say, that effort isn't aided by the sticker attached to Goodie Mob's new greatest-hits compilation Dirty South Classics, advertising OutKast's three guest appearances in letters more than twice as large as those trumpeting Goodie Mob's biggest hits. Now the group risks being overshadowed not just by OutKast, but also by critical darling Cee-Lo Green, who left Goodie Mob to pursue a solo career that looks more promising than that of his former outfit. It remains to be seen how Goodie Mob, which is now signed to an independent label, will do without Green, but Dirty South Classics offers a nice, relatively concise overview of its career so far. Though the group turned out the occasional rabble-rousing anthem, Dirty South Classics focuses largely on its more socially conscious, political side. Over swampy beats provided largely by Organized Noize (the team that crafted OutKast's sound before the duo graduated to producing itself), Goodie Mob raps about a South devastated by violence, drugs, and hopelessness. At the same time, it's less melodic and immediate than OutKast, which possesses a pop sensibility and knack for writing radio-friendly songs that Goodie Mob largely lacks. But the latter's grim social commentary keeps with the blues tradition, and Green's distinctive, raspy-voiced delivery–the group's single biggest asset–is pure gospel, particularly when he sings. With the South firmly back in fashion, thanks to Lil' Jon and the Crunk And Disorderly contingent, Dirty South Classics affords newcomers a timely opportunity to appreciate the pioneers who paved the way for the region's commercial and artistic renaissance.