Coming up from the somewhat sorted collection of Waterworld hip-hop, MC Intricate Dialect and producer Farenheight 2040 joined forces to put together Life of Id: Basement Up. As the title suggests, there are some unquestionable hints of basement-style production values. Avant-garde jazz samples are countered with gritty, analog loops. ID credits the inspirations of the "underground flavor" with Grandmaster Flash and other pioneers of rap. Whether or not this album preserves a long-standing tradition of underground sensibilities remains to be seen. What is apparent, however, is that this 2000 release is a refreshing change from the overly synthesized, pop-friendly beats that seem to be flooding the market. While a little rough around the edges at certain points, the entire joint maintains a lyrical consistency that's rarely present in today's rap albums. Not one element of this album constitutes as commercial posturing. "Cold Ran Over the World Today" in a smooth, free-flowing promise of elevation, while "Mic in Hand" is a personal manifesto addressing matters of alienation and the release rhyming provides. In all of ID's incarnations, never has he shown any inclination towards mainstream rapping. Life of Id: Basement Up comes off as an honest, bare expression of fundamental hip-hop values and personal beliefs. Some of the more obscure references to ancient Egyptian gods could potentially alienate a listener trying to be in on the joke, but the unabashed spiritual beliefs give a deep look into Intricate Dialect's psyche. If the end goal is honest self-expression at whatever cost, ID comes off in spades. The only possible deterrent is the occasional snap, pop, crackle of the "underground" production. All in all, a courageous effort.
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