Plies – “Really From Da Hood”

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Florida rapper Plies isn’t about let you forget his origins on this club banger from his new mixtape, You Need People Like Me. From the title to the incessant chorus to the gritty imagery, Plies—whose real name is Algernod Lanier Washington (!)—finds his groove and rides it for three minutes and fourteen seconds of decidedly non-commercial hip-hop.

Basically yelling his gruff vocals (reminiscently of DMX) over a snap hip-hop backing track, replete with high pitched synth, Plies clicks off a checklist of ghetto-centric occurrences and preferences for the entire length of the track, only pausing to remind you he’s “really really really from da hood doe.”

The hood—presumably the one of his particular upbringing—is where the feds go, where the rent’s low, where the yay (cocaine) is sold, where the goons lurk, where they ride big, bitch…you know the script. Like a country singer over-proving his rural credibility, Plies never digs any deeper than these gangsta clichés to illustrate his point. He who speaks loudest is the “realest” here, as Algernod spouts off, becoming increasingly boisterous and unintelligible as the bars go by.

Even by the end of the first verse, Plies has reduced nearly every word to a single syllable.

Admittedly I’ve always lumped Plies (who has bestowed upon the world such classic tracks as “Becky” and “Plenty Money”) in with other critically derided hip-hop artists like Soulja Boy and Gucci Mane, but I’ll have to retract that generalization here. Plies can actually flow when he wants to. He can also write a cohesive, well-crafted track if he cares to, as I found out by checking his back catalogue on YouTube.

Too bad he didn’t apply his writing skills to this slapdash release.

Even if “Really From Da Hood” wasn’t a tired laundry list set to bass and ringtone beeps, the ridiculous hook alone would make it nearly unlistenable. The staccato of “really really really” is overkill to the point of hilarity. Really.

Plies should spend a little more pen time—writing, not correctional—on his next hood dissertation.

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