DJ Hi-Tek

Hi-Teknology

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Since breaking in quietly with fellow Cincinnati residents Mood in the mid-'90s, DJ Hi-Tek's climb up the crate-digging ranks has been a slow one. While Hi-Tek garnished some well-overdue exposure for his work on Black Star's debut, and with running mate Talib Kweli on their critically acclaimed Reflection Eternal endeavor, his name is still rarely mentioned when discussing hip-hop's new class of promising beatsmiths. However, Hi-Tek's debut, Hi-Teknology, should change that. While Tek collaborates mostly with many familiar faces, he adds a few new wrinkles to his organic compositions, roughing up his trusted MPC-3000 on Cormega's "All I Need Is You" and for the sinister "The Illest It Gets," which features Black Moon's Buckshot. Yet, the heart and soul of Hi-Teknology resides with those who Tek has already developed a solid working relationship with. Talib Kweli and Tek re-solidify their chemistry with "Get Back, Pt. 2," and Common enters the fold, with the lyrically enriched "Sun God," as his introspective lyrics emanate with a Marvin Gaye-like quality. Similarly, just as enticing is "Git to Steppin'," as Mos Def and Vinia Mojica body rock in perfect unison to Tek's sensuous organ arrangement. Though Hi-Teknology follows no discernible path, it is a grab bag of aural treats that enables Tek to display the full range of his production prowess. While Hi-Tek has yet to generate a mainstream buzz, Hi-Teknology is just the latest step he has taken to claim his rightful spot among hip-hop's elite soundboys.

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