2Mex Sweat Lodge Infinite

For his follow-up to B-Boys in Occupied Mexico, 2Mex opted to go with an unpolished, rawer sound that makes Sweat Lodge Infinite less likely to break the Visionaries MC out of the underground. Here, it’s the Shapeshifter’s side. And Darkleaf is responsible for much of that feel: Longevity’s production is primarily minimal drum-programming and unusual sound effects, while Mixmaster Wolf layers plenty of scratches that give the tracks more depth. Plus, Darkleaf members Kemit and St. Mark 9:23 lay some vocals. But, of the guests, it’s really only Busdriver, Aceyalone and Awol One who hold their own with the intensity of 2Mex’s vocal assault. "No Category,” which teams 2Mex with Aceyalone and Awol One, bites NWA for its intro and LL Cool J for its chorus, and comes off cooler for that. Another cool song is "Before the Format,” 2Mex’s monologue for Memo, the deceased roommate his label is named after. It’s the closest he comes to having a topic, but with 2Mex it’s always been more about the words and flow anyway. While the high-end on the album may be mixed a bit loud, Sweat Lodge Infinite is a good album with a nice unified sound. (Temporary Whatever)