Frontline

Overlooked

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A classic example of nouveau basement hip-hop, Chicago-based quartet Frontline's debut full-length is a nocturnal foray into the dark side of creativity coupled with a scathing indictment of the current state of hip-hop. In the tradition of Chicago underground artists such as Rubberoom and B Movie Fiends, Frontline offers electro-shock rap therapy in the form of cloistered, basement-studio tracks combined with mind-twisting rhymes with touches of dark humor. The ambidextrous foursome consisting of jDoubleu, Atlas, Banner, and Chauncie Gardener (yes the intellectually challenged Peter Sellers character in the film Being There) scan heavy lyrical topics mixed with standard hip-hop posturing. The spiny production is mostly handled by Gardner and jDoubleu. This album is less abstract than the twisted psychologics of say Kool Keith, but are no less visceral or disturbing. While not always the most listenable brand of hip-hop, this deep underground effort creates a contemplatively chaotic mood. A good demonstration of the ever-thriving Midwest underground scene.

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