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Southside

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The Inc.’s Ja Rule and Ashanti perfected the rugged-but-smooth thug ballad, so it’s fitting that the debut from 18-year-old Atlanta crooner and recent Inc. signee Lloyd alternates between menacing, clap-happy tales of hustling (”Take It Low”) and fluttery, lilting ones about baby making (the title cut). But Lloyd’s Southside breathy, almost girlish coos are best suited for romance, meaning the rest of the time he sounds like a lathery thug in need of a hug.