[4 October 2010]
In a career that spreads vastly across two decades, Mike Ladd has delivered some of the most challenging, forward-thinking music to be labeled as “hip-hop”. And after spending the last ten years collaborating with just about everyone worth collaborating with in the world of underground hip-hop, including Company Flow, MURS, Slug, Cannibal Ox, and Roots Manuva, not to mention such non-urban entities as jazz bassist William Parker, Yo La Tengo, and Arto Lindsay, Ladd returns to his roots to complete the third and final part of his Infesticons saga with Bedford Park. After stumping more than a few of his fans with the series’ middle installment, the ironically jiggy Beauty Party by the Majesticons, the quixotic MC rounds home with this great last chapter, reinstating the Infesticons handle and gathering together some of his most talented pals hustling their wares in NYC. Creature, Saul Williams, and Juice Aleem among others craft an urbanized hybrid of punk, blues, and hip-hop that ranks alongside Welcome to the Afterfuture and Gun Hill Road as one of the high watermarks of a career defined by innovative inventiveness and intelligent swagger.