Gift of Gab

The Next Logical Progression

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Gift of Gab is right as the literary Blackalicious frontman sounds like Biz Markie after a couple Ph.D.s, and while his 2012 release is filled with vibrant beats, it's still a lyricist lover's album at heart. That goes double as the concept frequently turns to the sorry state of rap in 2012, and if that sounds like a complete downer, check the positive ideas and positive vibes found on the sunny-day cut "So So Much" or the up funk that very special guest George Clinton brings to "Everything Is Fine." Even the album's key cut, "Protocol," brings a smile to the face with its old-school scratching and older-school soul chorus, but Gab's argument against the over-glossing of hip-hop is always there, and when presented so eloquently, is always worth considering. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, which is the great trick behind this persuasive album, offering a serious argument with plenty of hot buttered soul.

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