With their simple beats-and-rhymes approach to rap, it’s not surprising that the resurging Rawkus label liked Kidz in the Hall. Chicago-born emcee Naledge met DJ Double-O at Penn, and their debut album, School Was My Hustle, is a nice piece of unassuming true school hip-hop. Naledge sounds great over Double-O’s funk loops, and their he’s-the-DJ-I’m-the-rapper chemistry is evident on “Ritalin” and the fast rap “Cruise Control”. More surprising (and characteristically un-Rawkus) is how little this fact comes up; most staunch advocates of “real hip-hop” wish they could make anything this fresh. School is a good look for a once-great record label fighting for relevance.
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