This is just as much of a eulogy as it is an album review. Young Mass, who's new self-titled CD, under review here, marks the first post-breakup release from a member of the dynamic, off-the-hook, constantly innovative collective known as Digital Underground. Ok, technically the band still has one show left in April and is supposed to release a farewell album. Shock's official, but likely sarcastic, reason for the disbandment was "The group and the fans were becoming a bunch of drunks" No matter what the true reason is, the "D-Flow Shuttle" will be missed.
Young Mass served a four year tour of duty with Digital Underground joining the band after being discovered by group leader Shock-G/Humpty Hump; who also discovered Tupac Shakur, at a BBQ in Chicago and quickly charged Tupac with the task of warming up Digital's crowds.
Young Mass is also a talented producer and helmed the boards for twelve tracks of the soundtrack of an adult DVD company, run by one of the groups founding members Money-B, including the popular club hit "Drank-A-Lot." For the most part Money-B served as Digital's thug personality. Most of the bands music is funk based in the tradition of Parliament without a gangster mentality. This is why the group wisely encouraged Tupac to pursue a solo career.
Young Mass is a lot like Tupac musically on tracks like "On the Grind" and the perfect corner loitering tune "Let it Go" (Featuring veteran Oakland rapper Yukmouth). For the most part it's the album's guests that are the true appeal of this album. The album's first single "Blue Skyy (Remix)" features the entire Digital crew and will surely be a club banger.
There are also two sex-rhyme songs "Never a Touch Down" and "Freak-ish" that features Money-B and up and coming rapper Freeze. With its 20 tracks Young Mass also manages to trade Microphone skills with rappers 2 Fly-Eli, Cleetis Mack, and singer Mimi who has worked with Dr Dre.
I'd say the overall vibe of this album is crunk but there are some other styles in play here too. Hopefully this will be the first in a long line of new music from the Digital Underground family. I highly suggest that those unfamiliar with Digital check out the bands DVD, Raw Uncut.