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Vanguard: Big Pimp Jones - Dollar Major, Neighborhood Playa
By Gary Schwind

I was drawn into this CD before I even heard a note.  This is a CD that has excellent packaging.  The front cover looks like one of those velvet paintings you might see in any blaxploitation film.  Luckily, the goodness doesn’t end there.

Dollar Major, Neighborhood Playa kicks off with “The Jailbreak,” which is a microcosm of the album.  It is a short, hard-hitting funky tune, driven by thumping bass lines.  There is also a healthy dose of hip-hop on this album that reminds me a bit of Pharcyde.  Perhaps the best example of hip-hop-funk fusion on this album is “We Funk It.”  On this track, Jojo Shorty lays down the rhymes to a funked-up version of, are you ready for this, the theme song from “The Transformers.”  It is wicked awesome.

I prefer the up-tempo songs, but the slow jams like “Uptown” are pretty good too.  Another good slow jam on this album is “Let Me Get Naked for You.”  I don’t think anything more needs to be said about that one.

Where I give this band a lot of credit is in their lyrics.  You have to admire a band that can reference Dikembe Mutombo, Eggo, Jedi and Yeti in a song.  Especially when that song is called “Funky Cops.”  In “Vinyl Killer” Big Pimp Jones delivers the only Bert Blyleven reference I’ve ever heard in a song.  That one scored big points with me.

This band would be great to see live, if for no other reason than to see Pooky attack the bass.  I don’t know how it looks in person, but on disc it sounds like he’s trying to break his bass in two.  And that’s a good thing. One thing about this disc is that it is not a disc to listen to discreetly on your headphones at work.  This is a CD you want blasting on the stereo with the volume and the bass cranked up. Every song on here is pretty good, although some are a step below the rest. If I have one critique about this album, it’s the length.  It’s too short.  But then maybe that’s the point.  They give you a taste and you’re hooked.  I know one thing for sure.  It worked on me.

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Big Pimp Jones - Dollar Major, Neighborhood Playa
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