Tittsworth Twelve Steps

If you’re wondering what’s blasting from all those jet-black SUVs on The Wire, it’s music like Tittsworth’s, tracks that embrace Baltimore’s frantic new brand of club music. But the show’s tracks also demonstrate a bit of substance, something that can’t be said for Tittsworth’s Twelve Steps. On his debut full-length, the Washington, DC DJ/producer brings an electro-rap throwdown that’s disjointed, fractured and mired in gimmicks. The main offenders? First, there are the guest vocalists and their passé lyrical science, where you find artists like Kid Sister, Pitbull and Diamond K delivering obnoxious "whassup, whassup” lines about Almond Joys and hearts as toys, and spreading legs "like a gynaecologist.” Second, there’s Tittsworth’s played-out pop reference points, like on the R&B jam "Here He Comes,” which lifts the overused melody from "Maneater” by Hall and Oates, and the "Sweet Dreams” synth rip on "911.” To Tittsworth’s credit, he does have a knack for some hard-edged beats and hooky melodies, especially on the disc’s trio of instrumental jams. But three out of 12 steps are hardly enough to save this album. (Plant Music)