Destination Brooklyn

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Marked by a stylish, varied mix of hip-hop, and both dancehall and roots-style reggae, DESTINATION BROOKLYN jumps out of a stereo with more authority than any debut by a 13-year-old has a right to. Then again, Brooklyn-born-and-bred Vicious isn't the average mic-wielding teenager. Rather than masking his hip-hop-ness with reggae intonations, Vicious is a "toaster" through and through. One listen to the dangerous dancehall of "Him Never Do It," or the Coxsone Dodd-style backing track of "The Lesson" (which also features the rhymes of Beenie Man), shows that he is immersed in reggae style; and the album's overwhelming bass riddims prove that his producers know well-enough to keep him there. Yet, it would be impossible to grow up in the middle of rap's old-school territories and not absorb its influences. Thus, the duet with Wu-Tan Clan protege Shyheim ("Life Of A Shortie"), and the cuts featuring beatbox champion Doug E. Fresh (particularly "Freaks," which first spotlighted Vicious' talents) mix a little hip-hop flavor with his ragamuffin style. Vicious treats both of those crafts as though they were his own.

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