Together, the Cash Money
millionaires and Ruff Ryder
clique have more hits than baseball great Pete Rose, but their combined concert tour is no gamble. These two hip-hop conglomerates have dominated commercial urban radio in the past few years with their distinctly different sounds. Mannie Fresh, the producer who popularized "bounce" music, drops the beats for Cash Money artists, and Swizz Beats holds it down for the Ruff Ryder camp. Fresh creates songs that swelter with energy and attack the ear with nervous-sounding loops and walloping southern-style basslines. Swizz combines dizzying piano loops with piercing trumpets that fill the spaces between the speaker-rattlin' thumps. Their futuristic compositions are brilliantly simple but seriously catchy. These hot joints are blasted by thugged-out homies and bubble-gum-chewing tweens alike. The Cash Money cast, featuring Juvenile, B.G., Lil' Wayne, and Big Tymers, has gone from stompin' roaches in the projects of New Orleans to flashing gold and platinum teeth that are worth more than some folks' homes. The Ruff Ryders, composed of DMX, Drag-On, Eve, and The Lox, represent the long tradition of East Coast hip-hop. DMX, with his energetic performances, bust-'em-down attitude, and growling delivery, embodies the Ruff Ryder standpoint. Although there might not be much lyrical substance and social commentary coming from these party-minded posses, both will provide enough hot beats and shout-along choruses to keep the crowd entertained.