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Bravez Team Hyphy 

All Systems Go (Stand Up Entertainment/ Green Light Records)

Wednesday, May 30 2007
It's hard to look at the cover of BTH's debut and not think that these kids are just some bubblegum grommets. The Bay Area group sports the grills and chains, the boy-group baby faces, the chrome rims, and, of course, a moniker that features the usually unforgivable sin of including the genre under which the music falls. But while these high school partners are new to the rap game, they show skills and depth well beyond their years. With bass beats hitting ridiculously low, rappers KuZ'n, Blaze Trackz, and Jenyus drop references to fellow East Bay cats and obvious influences like Too Short and Mac Dre, and offer a fresh take on the hyphy sound. Some tracks are meant for the club — "B-Ball Stuntin'" and "What's That Track Called" bounce off the walls. Others like "Bay Finna Jump" and "We Won't Stop" bang heavy for the car. And then there's the poppy, melodic "Oh Girl," a surprising blend of a classic hip-hop love track and new wave/new jack soul production. Indeed, traces of techno and electro also sneak into the uptempo numbers, adding further originality and crossover accessibility to the young Bravez Team Hyphy. — Toph One

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