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Album Review

Flo Rida, 'R.O.O.T.S. (Route of Overcoming the Struggle)'

March 30, 2009
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Hip-Hop
Flo Rida R.O.O.T.S. (Route of Overcoming the Struggle)
Poe Boy/Atlantic
ESSENTIAL "Be on You"

So what are we to make of Flo Rida, the fleet-tongued MC with two of the biggest hits of the past few years? His music is pure ear candy that must make Britney envious, yet he wants to come off as a thug. It's doubtful that this sophomore effort's insanely catchy "Jump," with Nelly Furtado, or the single "Right Round" would have played on the streets of Brooklyn 15 years ago. They're as hard as Jell-O. But Flo Rida compensates with raucous rhymes about sex and life in the game. The guy loves his freaks (not the kind in David Lynch films) and his sex fantasies are spun with little grace or irony. Besides bouncing strippers, Rida also loves to flow about not giving up and his rise from nothing to sales supremacy (the title track, "Never"). He's hip-hop's Dr. Phil. The problem is that he shows no growth - besides realizing, along with his producers, that if you throw every hook known to man into the pop ocean, you are bound to catch something. In this case, it will catch a lot of listeners. How long they stay on the line is debatable. (Out tomorrow)

KEN CAPOBIANCO

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