With beat-happy simplicity, Ying Yang Twins — D-Roc and Kaine — have emerged as hit-makers of the first order. “Wait (the Whisper Song),” ushered in on spare, bare-bones drumbeats, finger snaps and whispered vocals, is one of the duo’s biggest hits in their seven-year career and has propelled their album release, United States of Atlanta (U.S.A.), to the top of the charts.
Hailing from hip-hop’s Southern epicenter, the pair’s place in the musical culture was assured when the unlikely track, “Whistle While You Twurk,” moved over 200,000 units. In 2002, Lil Jon and the Eastside Boyz invited the Twins to record “Get Low” for the double platinum-selling Kings of Crunk.
Like their Dirty South compatriots, the duo, under the astute direction of their longtime producer, DJ Smurf (aka Mr. Collipark), interjects thunderous club-heavy fun into their songs. But their new album also displays deeper themes: “Long Time,” inspired by the Rev. Al Green, is spiritually-centered and “Live Again,” with a hook sung of Adam Levine of Maroon 5, offers shelter to a girl in trouble. But lest things become too cerebral, there is also “Wiggle,” a song that demonstrates exactly why the Twins are the ambassadors of the erotic dance clubs as a stripper repeats, “Damn girl, I done broke my heel.”
With sonic sensibilities both smooth and rough distilled into signature synth phases and elemental rhythms, their sound is an open invitation to an endless party. And like the Chinese symbols for light and dark from whence their name derives, Ying Yang Twins manage to keep it all perfectly suspended in the balance.