Basementality (Crush
/Recordhead; January

digdugcoverweb.jpgThis Indianapolis hip-hop trio achieved
some national recognition recently thanks to a Super Bowl anthem
for the Colts called “Go Blue.” But
, 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
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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