Vibe review: 8Ball & MJG - Ridin' High

When Diddy signed 8Ball & MJG in 2002, fans feared he'd glitz up their dark, rowdy Memphis sound. Now two albums into their deal with Bad Boy, Ridin' High proves the duo's affinity for unapologetic gutter music has only grown stronger.

Boasting a magnetic hook, “No Joke, No Lie” is a brooding gangster gem that leaves no doubt the twosome can still come out hard. And the lap-danceable “Outfit,” with its raunchy subject matter (oral sex), falls right in line with past songs like “Space Age Pimpin'” and “Break-a-Bitch College.” Likewise, the cello-heavy “Like This” shows that the 13-year rap vets are comfortable in their own skin, with MJG spitting unrefined lines like, “I got more dog in me than a large beef fried rice.”

And while the up-tempo OutKast-y electro track “Ridin' High” is the album's only real radio concession, there's hardly any playing to the mainstream masses on the murky crunk masterpiece “Get Low” or “Stand Up,” an infectious call for Southern pride. Let's just say not even Diddy can clean up 8Ball & MJG's act.