From Ice-T and Schoolly D to Eminem, hip-hop has been full of dark, twisted humor. And there is no shortage of it on Southern Discomfert -- this first Epic release by the Atlanta-based hip-hop duo Rehab is an impressive effort full of dark-humored references to drug and alcohol abuse. Anyone who finds Eminem's Slim Shady character entertaining will find in-your-face items like "My Addiction" (based on Run-D.M.C.'s "My Adidas") and "Crazy People" equally entertaining. But here's the tragic part: Danny Boone and Brooks -- the white rappers who comprise Rehab -- have firsthand knowledge of the type of things they rap about. The MCs really "did" meet in rehab, and the dark humor that is a big part of Southern Discomfert is their way of confronting their own history of drug addiction and alcohol abuse. So even though some of Rehab's lyrics are hilarious (if you appreciate warped humor), they are no doubt cathartic for Boone and Brooks. Much of the time, this CD is a perfect example of laughing to keep from crying, which isn't unusual for hip-hop -- like the blues and country, hip-hop has a history of using humor to cope with things that are tragic. Rehab's lyrics have a way of jumping out at the listener, and the same can be said about the tracks that the duo raps to. Musically, Southern Discomfert is fairly diverse; depending on their mood, Boone and Brooks will rap to anything from funk and soul to hard rock and pop/rock. Both lyrically and musically, Southern Discomfert is among 2000's most memorable hip-hop releases.
Alex Henderson, Rovi