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The Album

Wednesday, Feb 16 2005
With the breakout hit "Hyphy," Fairfield act Federation is at the forefront of a Bay Area hip hop renaissance that some are calling the "New Bay." But much of the credit for this group's success goes to producer Rick Rock. He infuses The Album with a sound that straddles the line between the bombast of crunk and the odd instrumentation and rhythmic patterns of Timbaland. It's an instantly engaging, club-friendly formula that works as a perfect foil for the rhymes of Federation MCs Doonie Baby, Stres, and Goldie Gold. And while "Damn," a harrowing tale of a childhood spent in poverty and under the constant specter of violence, shows that Federation has emotional range, the trio's subject matter generally revolves around the hip hop clichés of money, guns, drugs, and hos. Revelatory song titles like "Hoes in Here," "Get Dumb," and "Mayhem" offer a glimpse of the group's scope, or lack thereof. It may be a "New Bay," but the game remains the same.

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Sam Chennault


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