Part 2

Live from the Breadline

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Part 2 has been a critical member of the British hip-hop community since the mid-'90s, both as a solo producer and as the musical director for England's finest rap group, New Flesh. Live from the Breadline, his first solo album of the new century, triangulates his varying interests in hip-hop, the British ragga scene that closely accompanies it, and the garage rap sound that quickly overwhelmed all other forms of British hip-hop after Dizzee Rascal put out his first album in 2003. A mix album of his own productions, the record features vocal collaborators on every track, most of them close confidants -- Juice Aleem and Toastie Taylor from New Flesh, Wayne Bennett (aka Lotek), and Sandra Melody. Still, after a hot beginning ("Will It Ever" featuring Melody), Live from the Breadline cools down perceptibly, chilling out with track after track of jumped-up dance and hip-hop that leave little to grab hold of once they've coasted to a finish. Outside names such as LSK and the great British rapper Fallacy make small contributions, and Part 2 keeps everything grooving with a near-continuous mix, but there is a surprising lack of innovation and catchy production present on Live from the Breadline.

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