The Nextmen

Amongst the Madness

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The Nextmen is a project featuring British DJ/producers Baloo (Brad Ellis) and Dom Search (Dominic Betmead) collaborating with a host of talented but unknown MCs from the East Coast. The sons of prominent figures in the worlds of jazz and rock, Search and Baloo provide a seamless conceptual flow (รก la the Brand New Heavies' groundbreaking Heavy Rhyme Experience) that makes you forget you're listening to nine different lyricists. The album's most welcome discovery is Pen Ultimate, a remarkably literary MC from Boston (and a Harvard grad to boot!), whose dense, bitingly clever flow on "File Under Truth" and "EBS" will have you reaching for the rewind button trying to catch up. Perhaps because they are from the other side of the pond, the Nextmen aren't on some grand mission to save hip-hop or squash regional beefs. Like a welcome relic of the late-'80s and early-'90s rap scene, Amongst the Madness is all about showcasing mic and turntable skills and having fun.

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