Get MC/producer Evidence and producer/MC the Alchemist together and that's a "true hip-hop" pedigree that goes from Dilated Peoples to Mobb Deep, but Step Brothers is nearly as wacky as the Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly film from which the duo's project borrows its name. Big difference is that no one would step to these Brothers without expecting both a left to the gut and a right to the chin, as Alchemist's beats remain the kind of stuff that injects machismo into Shady Records and G-Unit releases, while both members deliver their lines as true Dons, even when quoting Dire Straits' "Money for Nothing" during the great "Dr. Kimble." It's best to cut up a cardboard box and throw it on the floor for the B-Boy highlight "Step Masters" ("and it's only just begun like Jimmy Castor" or "I've never decided if I ever felt the Beatles" being the lyrics to pick), and when cooking up crack, any drug den would benefit from the pounding paranoia and psychedelic guitars of "Legendary Mesh" ("I swear to drunk I'm not God but getting closer" and "Money talks like the spaghetti sauce with the basil"). Even if talking loud and saying something quirky would be an irksome move from lesser pranksters, Alchemist and Evidence never stumble into anything overly sophomoric or excruciating silly, and the guests (Action Bronson, Domo Genesis, Styles P, and some other well-picked wonders) are all in on the "joke" or, at least, the loose and lighthearted atmosphere. No doubt, Lord Steppington is a niche album, but whenever a combination of 3rd Bass and Adult Swim is required, this one shows its pimp-hand with some dry, elevated humor.
AllMusic Review by David Jeffries