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A Summer Single for Streets and Beaches

Spank Rock sounds like "American kids ripping off European kids ripping off American hip-hop."
Spank Rock sounds like "American kids ripping off European kids ripping off American hip-hop."

One of the best hip-hop acts to surface in recent years, the Baltimore crew Spank Rock lays fun, over-the-top raps atop a mix of '80s-influenced electronic beats. Street-smart but beach-friendly, "Sweet Talk" combines the greasy production of British “grime” with abundant samples and the hedonistic playfulness that helped make stars of The Beastie Boys.

Spank Rock’s members describe themselves as “American kids ripping off European kids ripping off American hip-hop.” It’s hard to argue that description, but “Sweet Talk” transcends the boundaries of its genre: It’s one of the catchiest, most exhilarating songs released this year, hip-hop or otherwise.

Sonically inventive and lyrically outrageous -- the clean version here is a whole lot more radio-friendly than its unedited counterpart -- “Sweet Talk” hearkens back to the lovable likes of De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest. In the end, it aspires to little more than packing dance floors, but it accomplishes that goal with good humor and great style.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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John Richards
John Richards is the host and producer of The Morning Show with John on 90.3 FM KEXP Seattle, and online at . He is also KEXP's assistant program director.