**Limited orange coloured vinyl**
There was a time when Southern rappers felt marginalized. That was before the rise of 2 Live Crew and their bass colleagues in the late '80s; southern rap has long since become a huge industry, and Dirty South MCs who hit big in cities like New Orleans, Memphis, and Miami can easily sell a ton of CDs in the South alone. While some Dirty South rappers have a gangsta/thug life agenda and some are into serious socio-political messages, Atlanta rapper Lil Jon and his two East Side Boyz (Lil Bo and Big Sam) have tended to favor rowdy, in-your-face, profanity-filled party music.
Kings of Crunk, like the trio's previous releases, is full of the sort of hook-filled call-and-response jams that Southern hip-hop clubs are known for. The list of guests reads like a who's-who of Dirty South rapping -- Mystikal, Petey Pablo, Trick Daddy, and Pastor Troy all have cameos -- and Jon's trio works the crunk formula to death on relentlessly energetic tunes such as "Knockin' Heads Off," "Throw It Up," and the single "I Don't Give a Fuck." At times, the group sounds like it is recycling hits from previous albums, but one is inclined to be forgiving because even the album's most formulaic tracks are infectious -- the Atlanta residents do have a way with a hook.
And to their credit, not every track is formulaic crunk. Kings of Crunk detours into more of a Texas-type sound when Jon features U.G.K. on the rock-influenced "Diamonds," and those who find that Jon's up-tempo material can be exhausting will be surprised at how much his group chills out on "Nothin's Free" and a few other smooth, R&B-drenched items. Arguably the trio's most well-rounded album, Kings of Crunk will keep crunk fans happy, but has enough variety to keep listeners from calling them one-dimensional.