8 Ball 

Almost Famous: Chopped and Screwed

By employing the chopped and screwed mix style -- an innovation of Houston's own DJ Screw, who was famous for slowing down his turntables to make lurching, dizzying sounds that found favor with his codeine-addled audiences -- Southern DJs have produced a spate of slurring, visceral remix albums that often sound better than the originals. If you generally like Ying Yang Twins' production but can't stand listening to their raps because, well, the sheer ignorance of "Wait" causes your brain to melt, this style is the way to go. OG Ron C's remix of 8 Ball's 2001 album Almost Famous enhances its forebear -- a compendium of vague, conventional raps that mostly deal with survival and triumph in the game -- by deepening the artist's voice and making it possible to hear all the individual percussion sounds. The best tune here is the "Stop Playin' Games" remix with Jadakiss, Keith Murray, and MJG, because lyrics about gettin' brains and flippin' 'caine make more sense when you bring the vocals down a few decibels and make the beat sound like primordial ooze.

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