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Yung Berg: Look What You Made Me

Chances are you've had a Yung Berg song stuck in your mental craw without even knowing who he is. On debut Look What You Made Me, the Chi-town rapper and producer is smart enough to stick to polished, chunky and melodic soundscapes. He deploys both known and unknown R&B talent to bolster songs like "Sexy Lady," "Sexy Can I" and "The Business" (i.e., sex) with hooks that are hard to ignore and harder to forget. It's an especially canny maneuver, because as an MC, Yung Berg is just a few notches north of negligible. (He's most memorable aping Lil' Wayne on "The Business," or chasing the dream on the full-on R&B number "Outerspace.") But this self-proclaimed "Prince of the Chi" hasn't always been so wise. At 15, when Berg signed to DMX's Bloodline Records, he was spouting rhymes about his criminal record, driving expensive cars, drug-kingpin fantasies and ruthless armed robberies, even going as far as threatening to shove a gun in Mickey Mouse's grill. Now, on the bouncy club number "Do That There" — one of the "street" numbers that garnishes Look — he claims, "Never did it, but my dudes stay clapping that metal." Still, just days before this album dropped, Berg was arrested in New York on gun and drug charges. Maybe he's not that smart after all.

 
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