Mansbestfriend Pt. 2: No Thanks

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This album, a self-released CD-R sold during Sole's 2003 tour, came from a late-night marathon session during which the rapper laid down nearly 60 tracks. Because Man's Best Friend, Pt. 2: No Thanks was recorded exclusively by Sole (with later mixing help and musical additions from Jel and Odd Nosdam), the record finds the artist in his truest, albeit not cleanest, form. Though the sound is rough (Sole often going for that fuzzy vocal effect that can be achieved by holding the microphone too close to one's mouth), the samples often just severely slowed down chord progressions (an exception being the vocal track from British folksinger Mike Waterson's "The Brisk Lad" on the intro to "Poor Is Cool"), and the beats simple and unobtrusive, Sole himself is on top of his game, and his rhymes, which move from spoken word to quick, almost sung lines, aren't afraid to deal with controversial political and cultural issues and take the focus away from some of the spottier production. The album will certainly interest a serious Sole fan, but since the 2004 Morr Music release The New Human Is Illegal (under Sole's alias man'sbestfriend) includes almost all the tracks from Pt. 2 (missing, however, the provocative "In Defense of Culture"), is also easier to find, has slightly tighter production, and contains more material, it's a more judicious, and just as fulfilling, record for those who weren't able to pick up Man's Best Friend, Pt. 2: No Thanks at a show.

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