by ANDREW MATSON & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & T & lt;/span & he only way to love the music of Atlanta crunk duo Ying Yang Twins is as the soundtrack to willful ignorance.
It's music for rough, disrespectful sex, or maybe slow, raunchy hot-wax-and-ice-cubes sex. Either way, it's too cartoon-y for the serious, soulful endeavor called "love-making." If you conceive children with Ying Yang in the background, they'll be born already addicted to Ecstasy.
It's drinking music, but albums like U.S.A. (United State of Atlanta) or the not-so-cleverly titled Me & amp; My Brother and My Brother & amp; Me aren't so much suited for a few beers with the guys/girls as they are for blackout drunk-driving your car home from the bar. In reverse.
Extreme displays of frivolity -- at the expense of sense, decorum and especially women -- is the calling card of YYT emcees D-Roc (he of the always-hanging-open mouth) and Kaine (he of the gold-striped beard).
These guys embody the most vicious stereotypes in rap and male culture. Musically and ideologically, YYT is dumb simple to the core. No matter which producer they use -- "King of Crunk" Lil Jon, Wyclef "Career Death" Jean, and the A-Town booty-slap minimalist Mr. Collipark are favorites -- all their songs end up sounding the same: massive bass hits, frantic synth loops, obvious sex raps. While D-Roc and Kaine have made some songs about early struggles with poverty and the no-way-out cycles that encircle projects and trap houses, nearly all their songs are instructions for how strippers ought to shake their asses.
It's club-centric party music -- that's what "crunk" means for all you cave-dwellers -- and in the world of Ying Yang, there is no better cause for celebration than big, shiny things like 26-inch rims and slick, giant, powerful butts.
If you've ever seen a mainstream party-rap video and shook your head laughing, you probably saw a (male) rapper throw Franklins at the camera or ride around in a million-dollar bulletproof Bentley. "Aha," you thought. "New money. Wow, if these guys aren't careful, they're going to end up like MC Hammer."
Above and beyond ridiculousness, Ying Yang enters hip-hop where those head-shakers leave off: D-Roc and Kaine would rather pour champagne all over girls' butts than drink it, rather burn money (like, with fire) than spend it.
Their hit single "Wait (The Whisper Song)" set new standards for simplicity as it shot U.S.A. to platinum status. Solely comprised of one-note bass quakes and echo-chamber finger-snaps, the beat is skeletal even by crunk's jacked-up strip-club standards. Shockingly self-confident that their lecherous libido will come off more "raunchy" than "rapist," the Twins whisper sweet nothings like "wait till you see my d*ck" and "I'ma beat the p*ssy up" while naked women writhe in shrouds of blackness on the floor. If you aren't familiar, check YouTube. "Wait" is the least subtle sex-jam ever.
It's about as far from brilliant as you can get, but it has the same effect. Audio-visually, the Ying Yang Twins stun and stupefy.
& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & M & lt;/span & TV's show Cribs -- a house-by-house chronicle of America's crassest materialists -- reached its peak at the casa de Ying Yang. Draped in shiny XXXL basketball jerseys, the Twins stumbled around their relatively modest McMansion like retarded teenagers, running through clich & eacute;s glazed and self-impressed. From the obligatory "this is where it all goes down" bedroom anti-wink to emphatic gestures toward the custom rims of their several cars -- which, of course, look like propellers made out of chrome swords -- the Twins' Cribs episode is legendary for its complete obfuscation of exactly what is being exploited and who is doing the exploiting.
MTV (and Viacom/Clear Channel in general) is responsible for padding the Twins' pockets, and the duo's blatant lack of "hold-it-together"-ness is kind of a badass way to bite the feeding hand. Then again, these guys are also grown adults making no sense on (inter)national television showing off a fridge full of turquoise candy-cognac.
The most famous part of Ying Yang's Cribs episode is when Kaine is trying to explain how dope his rims are. Both rappers are obviously intoxicated -- Ecstasy, probably; Hpnotiq, certainly -- and the best Kaine can muster is slurred grunts. D-Roc, on the other hand, is shit-faced in a sprightlier way. He's moved to punctuate Kaine's slurrings with grating, plosive shouts somewhere between barks and screams. Beneath a million leagues of hazy crunk-ness, all he can manage is "the most annoying sound in the world" Jim Carrey makes in Dumb and Dumber. They look like two guys who forgot their lines and then forgot the English language.
Dave Chappelle famously made fun of this scene on The Chappelle Show, implying Ying Yang Twins mark the descent from forgivable buffoonery to outright minstrelsy.
Even though Chappelle likes dumb club rap -- Lil Jon was a favorite guest on his show -- Ying Yang Twins' music is ineligible for even "guilty pleasure" status.
Their music is so simple, so utterly one-track, so crazily straightforward, so unrelentingly offensive that people are forced to decide what it means. Not "means" like "what are they talking about," but "means" like "what does this music mean for the future of humanity?"
That's the power of Ying Yang Twins.
To be sure, most people don't have dogs in the "Ying Yang is Bad For Society" fight. Groups who do -- feminists, "conscious rap" evangelists, the NAACP --have to consider Ying Yang Twins unreachable, if they're concerned with human dignity: Anyone capable of ascending the Twins' heights of idiocy does so by dedicated volition.
The Ying Yang Twins with Filth & amp; Foul at the Big Easy on Thursday, Dec. 20, at 8:30 pm. $23; $25 at the door. Visit ticketswest.com or call 325-SEAT.