Hieroglyphics

Full Circle

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After reaching the charts and critics lists all during the early '90s as solo artists (and groups), then spending the rest of the decade building an organization with staying power, the eight-man-strong collective making up Hieroglyphics -- hip-hop heroes Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Casual, Pep Love, Souls of Mischief, and Damian "Domino" Siguenza -- returned in 2003 with the best record of their career. Full Circle is their second album as Hieroglyphics, after a freewheeling 1998 debut that saw the group delivering on all the promise of early-'90s classics like Del's I Wish My Brother George Was Here and Souls of Mischief's '93 'Til Infinity. Anyone with even a grounding in West Coast rap knows that together they're as great a team of rappers as Freestyle Fellowship or Jurassic 5, supremely able to flow with different styles and avoid the rough edges. What impresses about Full Circle is the breadth of productions and material; Hieroglyphics excel whether they're floating an in-the-groove sample-driven joint ("Classic"), a schizoid, surreal psychedelic rap ("Heatish"), or even the organic R&B jam ("Make Your Move"), often with Detroit keyboard wonder Amp Fiddler and bassist Merlo Podlewski.

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