featured REVIEW

Us3 Lie, Cheat & Steal Us3.com • 2011

They had a megahit in 1994 ('Cantaloop'), they were called jazz musicians of the year by The Independent in that same year and they got to sample freely from the Blue Note catalog. Perhaps three reasons why Us3, a long-time project by English producer Geoff Wilkinson, not always got the props and attention they deserved in hip-hop midsts. But still, Us3 always comes through with a product of critical content, freshness and quality.

Critically, because their eight album’s a middle finger to corrupt authorities and irresponsible role models. Coincidently the album was released in the aftermath of this summer’s street riots in Great-Britain, and therefore the album’s title alone sounds the more provocative, especially with Akala’s cockney raps.

Fresh because producer Geoff Wilkinson once again managed to find two promising emcees for his project. Oveous Maximus, from Washington Heights, NY, and Akala, from London (hence the cockney raps), both fulfill to the tradition of Us3 showcasing promising rap talents (starring on the previous Us3 record were Sene and Brook Yung). They both carry the theme of the album with witty punchlines.

And qualitative, because the album shows lots of maturity on a production level. With such a rich sound texture involved, those who attended their recent European tour will testify that this hip-hop is excellent to perform live.

That's three reasons for giving this album props and attention.

POSTED ON 11|24|2011 by cpf

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