Yung Wun has been pushed hard by the Ruff Ryder crew ever since appearing alongside Snoop Dogg, Jadakiss and Scarface on “WWIII” off 2000’s Ryde or Die Vol. 2 compilation. Expectations only rose for the talented M.C. after being signed to producer Swizz Beatz’s Full Surface label but unfortunately Yung Wun’s debut album just doesn’t live up to the hype. There are a few good tracks on Dirtiest, Thirstiest, but they only serve to throw the bad tracks into relief.

The first single, “Tear it Up” is a sure-fire hit and is by far the stand out on the album. Over a propulsive marching band sample of “Shout it Out,” Yung Wun turns in a verse on par with guests DMX, Lil’ Flip and David Banner. Nowhere else on the album does he even come close to sounding so inspired. Case in point is “Yung Wun Anthem.” Yung Wun just can’t find anything to say as memorable as Swizz Beatz’s blaring sirens, “Munsters”-theme sampling beat.

Dirtiest, Thirstiest would’ve definitely benefited from more Swizz Beatz, who only produces two songs and has a background vocal credit on one other. Instead of Swizz Beatz, Yung Wun gets “Sad Song,” a sensitive thug anthem that sounded a lot better when it was sung by Lauryn Hill. Whoever was responsible for sequencing would have been a lot better served not to follow “Sad Song” with the very similar “Starvin’ & Robbin’.” One song like that is bad enough — two in a row is unbearable. Compared to the previous songs “Load ‘em Up” is a gem, but taken on its own the track is a poorly done Kanye West rip-off backed with spineless posturing.

As if it couldn’t get much worse, “Cadillac Doors” is far and away the low point of Dirtiest, Thirstiest. Take away Yung Wun’s lackluster lyrics and the result is smooth jazz, complete with inoffensive wah. “Cadillac Doors” is the worst song, but “Represent” is the most unnecessary. Every rapper’s wet dream, “Represent” consists entirely of shouting out hometowns.

The album actually ends on a surprisingly strong note with “Georgia Waters.” The enthusiasm Yung Wun has for his native Atlanta is apparent, and his passionate delivery covers up his penchant for the weak rhymes apparent throughout the rest of Dirtiest, Thirstiest. As shown on “Tear it Up,” Yung Wun is capable of raising his game to the level of his peers; he just needs more consistent production and more lyrical focus.


Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

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