Spun: UTD

The early nineties were a good time for hip-hop. Amongst the great releases by groups with massive hooks and unforgettable beats, were underground classics by upcoming stars like those showcased on this re-release from UTD.

On these early recordings of Mos Def, his brother DCQ, and lady emcee Ces, the raw talent is easy to hear, flowing incredibly well and bringing out some great phrases.

Highlights of the recording are not only the smooth delivery of the rhymes, but the simple, hard beats very standard for the time.

The whole album induces some good head nodding. The stand out track is the stellar “My Kung Fu”, which starts out with Mos Def dropping a strong hook luring you into the song right before the beat comes in. The 12 tracks preview the skills Mos Def would show people later on in his career, but it is in the way these rappers play off each other that make the songs work. The album is definitely not as timeless as one would hope, but there are moments to make you forget you’re listening to the past.

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