Rap is a genre I don't delve into terribly frequently, but every once in a while I stumble across something that just clicks with me sort of inexplicably. I stumbled across Blackalicious's first EP 'Melodica' a few years ago because it was released on a small UK hip hop / electronic label called Mo'Wax - and at the time everything I had heard on the label was as good as it was hard to find, so I bought Melodica on a whim. I think it clicked with me because it was pretty far afield from the gangsta fare - interesting funky background music (more than just a thick bassy thump), and clever rhymes without the usual preponderance of 'ho' references. So four years after that, Chief Xcel and Gift of Gab (with assistance from the omnipresent Cut Chemist) finally put out their first proper album ('Nia'), which, while it doesn't have quite as much of the funky bits that made 'Melodica' so dandy - it's still fresh in its own way. And now in early 2002, we're just a little while away from 'Blazing Arrow', the first major label release from the Blackalicious team...
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