The Beatnuts

A Musical Massacre

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The fourth offering from the rambunctious hip-hop junkies the Beatnuts is an all-out assault on the eardrums. This is crack-open-a-party music, with beats that have been chiseled with a Latin feel. Lyrics are rough, rugged, and raunchy. Songs like "Watch Out Now" and "Turn It Out" (featuring Greg Nice) are just plain fun, as close to feel-good music as hardcore hip-hop gets. Other tracks that will satisfy include "Puffin' on a Cloud," "You're a Clown" (featuring Biz Markie), "Buddah in the Air," and the Spanglish headsplitter "Se Acabo." Even the thematic "Look Around," a departure from the Beatnuts' usual hedonistic content, is a pleasant surprise. The true core of the Beatnuts' sound is their fleshy, textured beats, which are dense and dipped in cannabis -- flutes, synthesizers, and various percussion instruments seem to float over and around deep drum machine kicks and snares. Swelling with an eclectic assortment of hypnotic sounds, A Musical Massacre is among 1999's most entertaining hip-hop albums.

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