Though seven years marked the time between the release of A.G.'s (of Showbiz & A.G. and D.I.T.C. fame) two solo full-lengths, the MC doesn't seem to have been negatively affected by the break; in fact, he sounds better than ever. However, this doesn't mean that his fans will instantly take to Get Dirty Radio, because instead of his usual East Coast production, he's hooked up with Californians like Madlib, Oh No, and DJ Design -- the latter of whom he had worked with previously and reconnected with backstage after a show in Europe, and who initially suggested this project -- a move that gives his rhymes a distinctly different vibe, funkier and looser than the darker, more aggressive sound he's had before. This diverse selection of collaborators means that A.G. is able to show off his adaptability and versatility (though he does still seem most comfortable and natural on his cut with Showbiz, "The Struggle"). Design proves to be a very able counterpoint, making melodic, interesting beats that pull in elements of jazz, rock, and even raga, allowing A.G. to display his skills and brag convincingly about his abilities on "Triumph" and the wittily titled "A Giant by Design." The Stones Throw connection also gets the rapper a much-coveted beat by now-deceased-and-near-saint J Dilla on "Hip Hop Quotable," which aims to prove his assertion that "Most rap cats don't know where it started, where it came from/We been reppin' this shit since day one" by alluding to various hip-hop songs and artists, Missy Elliott and Salt-N-Pepa being just two (too bad, despite all its potential, the track falls short, and is even kind of boring). But A.G.'s always been known for his metaphors, and Get Dirty Radio shows that beneath the beats nothing has changed. The best track on the record, and one of the better tracks to come out in underground hip-hop this year, "We Don't Care," has A.G. spitting "You gotta build gates around your house cuz you Microsoft" and "This is raw/We let the streets be the judge, you wanna take this to court," while "Gigantic" has the great line "I'm hot, like I'm in Cali wearing a mink/Set it off on instinct, 'pop' like *NSYNC." Get Dirty Radio may not have the dark East Coast beats of his previous work, but the warmer West Coast underground sound shows off A.G.'s skills, which haven't weakened with time, just as well, which means that even if it takes some fans some getting used to, it's a good album, and should be heard.
AllMusic Review by Marisa Brown
feat: Aloe Blacc