Mudkids Basementality

Mudkids Basementality (Crush Entertainment/Recordhead; January 2007)

digdugcoverweb.jpgThis Indianapolis hip-hop trio achieved some national recognition recently thanks to a Super Bowl anthem for the Colts called “Go Blue.” But Basementality, their fourth record since they hit the Indy streets in 1997, is the real reason America should take note. Full of smoothed out beats and playfully smart lyrics, their overall sound lands directly between the best of both coasts, somewhere amidst Pharcyde’s Labcabincalifornia, Souls of Mischief’s ’93 Til Infinity and A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders mixed with the suave delivery of CL Smooth.

Although they’ve opened for the Wu Tang Clan, Eminem, and KRS One, the Mudkids—who are Tyler “DJ Elp Mass” Knapp on scratches, Russell “Choc Surreal/Rusty Redenbacher” Johnson on vocals, Brian “Skittz” Philips as “freestyle assassin,” and Ryan “DJ Helicon” as touring deejay—haven’t spread their wings too much past the Midwest. This album should help make a more coastal push, especially at a time when independent hip-hop needs all the help it can get.

Often times, CDs come to these offices, claiming that something sounds like this or that—they almost always do not. Nowhere is that more egregious than in hip-hop, which is why listening to this CD was such a treat. They don’t pretend to be hard, they keep the music fun, and they should be loved by all.

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