Rob Sonic

Sabotage Gigante

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With its, dark, urban-styled beats and often abstract, politically oriented lyrics, Rob Sonic's second album, Sabotage Gigante, shows itself to be a pertinent inclusion to the Def Jux catalog. With a delivery approach and attitude that resemble Aesop Rock's (who shows up with a verse on "Smoke If You Got'um") -- though Sonic's rhymes are slightly less impenetrable -- the producer/MC makes squelching bass-driven beats that have an ominous dancy edge not generally heard in his labelmates' work. "Dead as Disco," while it follows the general antiwar, America-critique themes of the rest of the album, is filled with bouncy synths and airier drums, and is something that could almost work on the club floor. Sonic has a nice way of balancing his serious subject matter with beats that, while appropriately pensive, have a strange lightness to them. "Pack the balloons with Clorox and bleach/And they're ready with canisters of chocolate cream/Kids no longer use their hands like a soccer team," he rhymes in the explicitly political "The Over Under" over a sparse synth line, while on "Fat Man and Little Boy" (the name itself a reference to the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan in WWII), a cleaner bass and piano show up as the MC raps thoughtfully about war, capitalism, and hip-hop itself. The album's not immediately catchy, but there's an overall catchiness to it, something that sticks, both in your brain and to your ribs, that kind of Def Jux intensity that burrows itself under your toenails and is nearly impossible to dislodge, and, as is the case with Sabotage Gigante, ends up being something pretty good.

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