The Calhouns - Made In The Dirdy South      
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written by NewJeruPoet    
Cool Breeze first made noise with his verse called Goodie Mob's "Soul Food" LP. He practically stole the show and gained a healthy amount of attention. Still, he never really impressed me as an emcee but his hits "Watch For The Hook" and "Cre-A-Tine" were very cool and unique tracks that made some noise in the late 90's. His debut LP "East Point's Greatest Hit" was mainly produced by Organized Noise. The LP featured excellent production but somewhat simple rhyme styles by Cool Breeze. While he called himself Freddy Calhoun (The Coolest Cutter), he always used that A-A, B-B rhyme style (rhyming only the last words of the sentences). He did have the cool personality, the charisma, the arrogance, and the beats to back him. Out of the others in the Dungeon Family, Cool Breeze was one of the more "normal" ones. While Andre from Outkast, Cee-Lo, and Witchdoctor were on a whole other level, Cool Breeze was more about selling cocaine, running the streets, partying, and sex. While he was part of DF, Breeze's real crew was The Calhouns. They even had a self-titled song that closed Breeze's LP. After a couple years and a move to an independent label (Empire Music Werks), Cool Breeze hooked up with The Sniper Unit to form The Calhouns and release the crew LP "Made In The Dirdy South." The Calhouns consist of, in addition to Cool Breeze (Freddy Calhoun), Lucky Calhoun and Pauly Calhoun. This is a true Southern family album. While Freddy Calhoun is the only real somewhat well known emcee, this LP teeters between being the creative Organized Noise style and the stereotypical Southern sounds.

There are a couple of very cool tracks on this LP. "Street Life" (produced by Organized Noise) is a very sinister track with an ill piano loop where Lucky and Pauly exhibit their electric chemistry. The Southern slang and energy is strong as this anthem rides along using a line from Witchdoctor's "Georgia Plains" for the hook: "This street life is my life." The very rowdy opening track "Slapped" (produced by Lucky Calhoun) has a similar energy to it a la typical riot-starting Southern anthems that are popular now ("Move" by Ludacris or "Tear The Club Up" by 3-6 Mafia). Here, all three emcees rock energetic verses. They are hungry again and it shows. Sure, it may not be as intellectual as some of the other DF releases, but this is not a DF release. "RGDG" (produced by Cool Breeze & Kenny Thomas) is a clever Cool Breeze solo cut where he displays about the intense similarities between the rap game and the drug game. Lyrically, this is one of the best Cool Breeze performances I've heard. He truly began to hone his craft. Produced by Lucky Calhoun, "Country" (featuring Uncle Calhoun AKA Big Howg Major) is a pure Southern track that that displays both the hospitality and hostility of life in the south. The very ghetto sounding "'Partments" (produced by Cool Breeze & Kenny Thomas) is another nice solo cut by Cool Breeze. He paints a vivid picture of ghetto life in the city part of the south. The hook is simple too as they spell out the title. "Kingpinz" produced by Lucky is another decent track with nice chemistry between Lucky and Pauly. They use the familiar melody from "Sucker MC's" by Run-DMC in their hook. The closing track definitely grows on you.

Some tracks are just decent. They do not cross the line where they can be considered wack but they do not shine extremely bright either. "Owe Me" (produced by Lucky Calhoun) has a surprisingly nice guest collabo by DJ Hurricane (known for his work with Beastie Boys). Hurricane's verse is actually the best on the song. The track is not for everybody. "Outfits" (produced by Organized Noise) is the first single that has a female somewhat computerized sounding voice talking the hook. It is reminiscent of something from Outkast's "Stanokia". "Old Nat'l" (produced by Lucky Calhoun) is a very upbeat and fun track where Freddy aka Cool Breeze steals the show on the mic. The call-response hook gives the track a fun and energetic and very southern feel. Other songs like "Some People", "Lick Hitten" and "Run It" are decent but they do not a special quality or leave a strong mark.

Some songs just should not be on the album. "Calhoun Music" (produced by Lucky) is also his solo song. His high, squeaky voice gets annoying. His singing of the hook doesn't save it either. The beat sounds like a generic version of a No Limit or Cash Money track. Then there's "9 Months," a blatant party track with good energy but it doesn't work well. For a prime example, read the hook; "Shake what your mamma gave ya / It took 9 months to make ya / shake it baby!"

Overall, the album has some good qualities. While most of the LP looks and feels like just another stereotypical southern hip-hop LP, certain songs like "Street Life", "RGDG" and "Country" display not only their passion but the chemistry. The Calhouns are very much like a family and it's evident on the mic. The skits like "The Look" and "Sista Calhoun" are hidden after the songs and help the listener to truly hear about this family. Even though they aren't blood related, the southern respect and love for each other is very obvious and helps the LP. Unfortunately, many songs just sound very generic and somewhat soul-less. The "9 Months" and the annoying "Calhoun Music" are useless and blatant failed-attempts as bounce hits. The true gems of this LP are the songs that have a purpose or paint a picture of life in the dirty south.

"Made In The Dirdy South" is an LP that paints an honest and vivid picture of life in the south. Cool Breeze is with his true family and feels very comfortable. Although Organized Noise aren't used enough, some of alternate the production is interesting. The thick Organized Noise beats that were on Breeze's solo only make up about 1/3 of the LP here. Basically, this is an album for die-hard Cool Breeze fans, fans of Sniper Unit, or lovers of the dirty south. The Calhouns are a tight circle and this album has those strong family values that the south glorifies. Southern hip-hop is a strong force and it is only growing stronger. Before you pick up the next No Limit or Cash Money LP, consider an LP like this. Even though it does not always work, about 60% of the LP is kind of like a nice southern home cooked meal.

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