After a decade off, Del the Funky Homosapien's loose Oakland crew Hieroglyphics return to The Kitchen, because as the album intro says, "that's where, you know, your family gets together, congregates, creates a great meal." This loose and alive album is certainly a great meal for returning fans, while newcomers need only jump to the outstanding "That Merch" to get hooked on their appeal, seeing as how the revered hip-hop crew aren't too hung up on their lofty status to not work the merch table. The cut is an Unjust-produced throwback that suggests De La Soul are next up on-stage, as Hieroglyphics stand "perched at the merch booth, tryin' to get acquainted with your pockets," and by the way, "Hot chicks, you can get a discount," because even after ten years off, these boys will still be boys. They show their age as needed, as "Gun Fever" beats up on the current shoot-em-up generation, while Gully Duckets offers a beat as boisterous and fun as his name. Speaking of producers, Souls of Mischief man Opio offers nothing but rich, creamy butter on his handful of cuts, making "Nano Salt" funk and karate chop like RZA at his sunniest, while "It's Partly Me" is the kind of smooth, soft '70s soul that soars, suggesting you can still smoke on planes and your smoke will be lit by a stewardess who's the spitting image of Pam Grier. Interesting how the Sacramento crew the Sleeprockers get a "mixed and cooked by" credit and yet "too many cooks in the kitchen" isn't even an issue, but it's a crowded posse album for sure, and one with an overall party vibe as folks come and go and the topic is always changing. Kudos to the crew for playing it cool and hanging by the merch table because a humble Hieroglyphics hangout session like this one is always welcome.
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AllMusic Review by David Jeffries