Personnel: Rosalie Parker, J. Uzi, Ben Folstein (vocals).
Audio Mixers: XXXChange; Hern n Santiago.
Photographer: Isaac Shel.
Undoubtedly one of the most inventive and unusual acts in hip-hop, the Baltimore-based group Spank Rock (made up of producer Armani XXXchange and MC Spank Rock aka Spank Disco) lays down 12 challenging tracks on their debut full-length release YOYOYOYOYO. Lyrically, Spank Rock mostly sticks to sex rhymes and clever braggadocio, while stylistically he delivers break-neck flows reminiscent of the earliest party MCs. On the production end, Armani XXXchange works with rapid-fire percussion and minimalist electro effects as well as classic break-beats from the days of Grandmaster Flash and Whodini. The result is something astonishingly different. YOYOYOYOYO moves from soundtrack music to an intense b-boy session to a backdrop for a spaced-out drum-and-bass party. What's most impressive is Spank Rock's ability to take the fundamentals from hip-hop's roots and mold them into a sound that is fantastically futuristic.
Rolling Stone (p.70) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Baltimore club, the city's rarely exported dance-rap style, is built on breakneck beats, eclectic samples and unspeakable raunchiness. MC Spank Rock and Producer XXXchange take all three elements to extremes."
Entertainment Weekly (p.75) - "The duo plucks subcultural sounds from across the map...to create experimental hip-hop that'll fry sub-woofers and offend parents." -- Grade: B+
Uncut (p.107) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "By elevating Bounce's beat to form structured hip hop, tracks like 'Bump' and 'Touch Me' make this the most exciting independent rap around."
Magnet (p.108) - "Steeped in house music, early rock-the-bells rap, body-rock beats, absurdist funk and blue humor party records, YOYOYOYO moves breathlessly from one influence to the next."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.105) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[P]recocious, inventive and frequently dazzling. Spank's musical mastermind XXXchange transforms sounds wrung from cheap keyboards into whizz-bang sci-fi hip hop masterpieces."