Fans get a double dose of Dallas-based PPT with a CD/DVD combo.

For years now, it seems that if someone uses the words "Texas" and "hip-hop" together, they're referencing some sort of Dirty South sound. Listening to Dallas jazz-rap group PPT (an acronym of the three members' names -- Pikahsso, Picnic and Tahiti), it's good to know there is more versatility to be found in Texas hip-hop than most people might think. The production on Tres Monos in Love goes beyond rudimentary drum machines. Instead, listeners find sleekly sequenced horns like those on the song "Dumps," a brilliant rhyme about woes of relationships and breaking up.

On the CD, PPT performs little comedy skits between songs. And listeners get even more of the group's sense of humor on the accompanying Tres Monos in Love DVD, with some videos taking the tunes to a whole other level. The song "Down South Girl" includes lyrics like "I'm so glad you're a country girl / I just want to be the king of your country world" and refers to a girl who is so fine PPT would "drink her bathwater." Add to that the DVD's visual of beautiful full-figured women, women who are appropriately described as "thick," and "Down South Girl" becomes an ode to the big-boned girl next door. With endless silly mugging, homemade special effects and more than a few pokes at cultural stereotypes, the videos are funny and, surprisingly, often poignant.

PPT swims upstream in the raging Dirty South river, doing their own thing, their own way, with disco beats filled with cowbells, funky synth lines utilizing jazzy drums, and intelligent lyrics flowing in well-crafted rhymes.



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