Off the strength of his 2006 album, YoYoYoYoYo, and his relentless touring schedule, Spank Rock (a.k.a. Naeem Juwan) has emerged as one of the top names in the new musical revolution that has been taking shape over the past few years. For this five-track EP, the Philadelphia emcee teams up with producer Benny Blanco to pay homage to the creators of Miami bass, 2 Live Crew. But Bangers & Cash is more than simply a nostalgic look at Luther Campbell and family; it elevates ghetto rhymes to the level of high art by fusing Miami bass with incredibly mind-bending production.
If you were to listen to Spank Rock’s lyrics, which are basically about as raunchy as lyrics can get, you would swear they came straight from a 2 Live Crew track. And in fact some of them do, as classic bass tracks like “Shake That Ass,” “Hoochie Mama,” and “We Want Some Pussy” are referenced on this EP. Spank Rock channels the dirty decadence of those days that brought about the parental-advisory sticker in lines like, “I got a dollar for your push it/ Put your ass up on that pole/ If your friend over there lick it/ then you might earn twenty more.”
Taken alone, these lyrics aren’t much different from the current glut of dirty South hip-hop; producer Benny Blanco adds that extra edge that pushes this project over the top. Using the original Miami bass sound as a jumping-off point, Blanco updates those classic breaks by combining them with electro, Baltimore house, and funky breaks. It’s a techno wonderland of hyped-up BPMs that never seems to let up.
Although “Shake That” and “B-O-O-T-A-Y” most closely resemble the signature 808s and rapid-fire snares of classic Miami bass, it’s the final track, “Bitch!,” that truly pushes this project into the stratosphere. Surrounded by dark synths and a pounding electro hook, this track alone seems to solidify the emergence of new movement in ghetto dance music. By bringing together two worlds, seemingly at odds, Spank Rock and Benny Blanco are truly furthering the art of both hip-hop and electronica.