Intricate Dialect

Solomon's Treasure

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The underground rap scene got a major shot in the arm in the late '90s, and the effect led to several MCs popping up all over the country with fresh and original sounds. One of these talents is Intricate Dialect, a Michigan MC with a silver tongue and a boatload of original rhyming schemes. Floating over a bed of eerie samples and gritty, understated funk basslines, Intricate Dialect tells detailed stories with a sharp precision, shooting off into weird and engaging tangents while never straying too far from his vision. Tracks take interesting twists, like the way he takes on the persona of a radio DJ while answering on-air phone calls in the infectious "Radio Show/Explore the Universe," just to switch modes and slowly turn the song into a high-concept jam that layers snippets of jazz records into an ever-evolving sonic stew. The production work is first-rate, dropping chilly samples and reverb-drenched passages over stuttered beats with a confidence rarely displayed by indie rappers. But none of it would pull together without Intricate Dialect himself, a dynamic vocalist who has a voice that proves to be as flexible as his unpredictable backing tracks. A gifted storyteller as well as an abstract lyricist, he never fails to grip the listener's attention, even when he gets heady and experimental with his words. Proving that the mind is the most effective tool in hip-hop, Intricate Dialect scores a massive winner on the surprisingly tight Solomon's Treasure. With only his sophomore effort, Intricate Dialect displays an incredible understanding of what makes the genre work, and fans of underground rap would do themselves a favor by hunting down this talented MC's efforts. [Copies bought in concert at the time of the release also included a DVD with a endearingly ramshackle video for "Radio Show."]

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