Artist: Yung Joc Track: "Play Your Cards" Album: Hustlenomics
Haters will hear the opening cascade of fuzz, synthesizers and percussion of "Play Your Cards Right" and immediately scoff at the resemblance of this track to T.I.'s venerable "What You Know."
They might not enjoy it, because of ethics and all that, which is a shame: This is a better track. The interplay among instruments is better, the rhymes are similarly solid, and the delicate undertones of keys and horns add another layer that T.I.'s banger didn't have.
Plus, the two are tight, so it seems as if there's no beef between them.
Joc jumps around on the album: more angular, minimalist approaches courtesy of the Neptunes; louder club tracks such as "Bottle Poppin'"; and funkier offerings like "Pak Man," which features the rappers's diminutive alter-ego.
"Play Your Cards" is the standout track from the best hip-hop album released yet this year. Sorry Kayne, and by proxy, DeVille.