Picks and Pans Review: Juelz Santana

updated 12/19/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/19/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST

What the Game's Been Missing!

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The stars have aligned to make Juelz (pronounced Joo-ells) Santana arguably the rapper of the moment. Hot on the heels of the No. 1 smash "Run It!," his collaboration with R&B singer Chris Brown, the Harlem emcee is rocking the clubs again with the old-school jam "There It Go (The Whistle Song)." Set against a spare, booming beat punctuated with claps, this irresistible come-on does as much for whistling as Lauren Bacall did with Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not. Santana is surely stepping out of mentor Cam'ron's shadow on this sophomore CD, on which he largely backs up such boasts as "I'll make ya wanna pull your lip over your head and just swallow yourself" (on the Eminem-like "I Am Crack"). Anybody who can bring '60s girl groups to hardcore rap—as Santana does by deftly integrating the Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman" on "Oh Yes" and the Angels' "My Boyfriend's Back" on "Kid Is Back"—certainly qualifies as dope to us.



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