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Gnotes

Rhymes and Beats

(Gnawledge; US: 9 Oct 2007; UK: Unavailable)

Here’s something you didn’t know you needed: a Brother Ali imitation by a Boston-area college football player. And it’s actually pretty good too: decent flow, not a whole lot of rage, just loads of heart and soul. Most of the time I wish he’d break out the electric guitars more often, or at least pick up the pace a bit, but that atmospheric emo-rap sound speaks for itself. Standout tracks include “Promises (Remix)” (which evokes the Beasties covering “Funky Worm”), and the mellow groove of “Burn Down the Stable”, where a whispered “I hate you” at the end leaves you hungering for more. And when was the last time you heard a football player say, “You don’t always have to flex your muscles / Get back to your people, take care of your people”? A decent, humane, almost ego-free hip-hop record: worth seeking out.

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