Evolution Fight

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The second album from this Gainsville, FL, hip-hop four-piece for Berlin's City Centre Offices, this is not the highly fractured digital hip-hop you'd expect from the experimental-leaning label. Rather, it is classic boom-bap, pure and simple, fortified this time by an array of live musicians, including Rhodes, bass, and vibes from the Mercury Program on "Growing," while rapper Akin's uncle adds live percussion and horn player Mike Maines multi-tracks a full ensemble of brass for charged opener "Plight About Now." But regardless of whether the musical track comes from human hands or a well-worn MPC, the results are the same, good-times party rap with moving beats and sensible lyrics. "Rappin'" goes so far as to sample none other than Mr. T, yet is perhaps the most challenging cut, with a Primo simple loop that will make you strut funny. Despite their fundamental vision, further listens will show Evolution Fight to be a deceptively intricate album (check the wonky piano loop that backs the ribbon-blown lyrics on the title track or the off-beat rhythm that backs a gospel sample on "Up Above"), and that might make it more worthy of the City Centre tag of musical advancement than many more overtly abstract hip-hop albums.

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