In 2004, Dem Franchize Boyz’s breakout single “White Tees” stuck in people’s heads like bubble gum. But despite the song’s popularity and catchy hook, it didn’t help their self-titled Universal Motown debut move substantial units. Now armed with Jermaine Dupri’s support and another anthem in “I Think They Like Me (So So Def Remix),” Parlae, Jizzal Man, Buddie, and Pimpin’ try once again to bring their Atlanta “snap music movement” to the forefront with On Top of Our Game.
Like all good Southern artists, DFB are adept at making both trunks and booties shake. That’s evident on their latest single “Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It,” where the crew breaks down their patented shoulder-dippin’ dance step. The same can be said for the Three 6 Mafia collabo “Don’t Play With Me,” where the two crews tear the club up with brash bacdafucup banter over Vaushaun Brooks’ boomin’ 808 drum kicks. Then on the Bun B–assisted “My Music,” Jizzal spits, “It’s fuck the cops, serve the rock, on the block music/ And any club, anyone, they don’t rock this/I’m setting my trend, dawg, it’s lean wit it, rock wit it.”
The not-so-subtle reference to a previous hit doesn’t stop there. DFB continually mention “white tees” and people that “like me” throughout the disc. Add to that the inclusion of actual remixes for “White Tees” and “I Think They Like Me,” and the repetitiveness borders on annoying. They do attempt to show some versatility with the R&B-tinged “Freaky As She Wanna Be” featuring Trey Songz, but newcomer Young Juve’s tender track gets bogged down with numerous fellatio requests.
Although they’re no lyrical giants, Dem Franchize Boyz are good at making fun, danceable music. Problem is, fans can only groove to the same rhythm for so long. Let’s just hope DFB learn a few more tricks before they snap back on the scene. —JAMES E. BARTLETT