Big Justoleum Lune Tns Plantation Rhymes/Gaffling Whips

While Company Flow's El-P has moved on to release some very well-regarded hip-hop music (Aesop Rock's Labor Days and Cannibal Ox's Cold Vein, among them) on his Defintive Jux label, his ex-rhyme "partner" Bigg Jus hasn't been able to keep up the same track record with his Subverse Music label. Mr Len, the other member of Co. Flow, beat Jus (aka Lune Tns) to the full-length, although with a release that wasn't well received by the critics. Hopefully, Bigg Jus's upcoming album, The Black Mamba Serums, will find more acceptance. However, if his limited edition ten-song single (with instrumentals for three) is any indication, things might not go much better. Over an album that pays homage to many of the roots of hi- hop, Jus occasionally sounds lazy as both an MC and as a producer (of the ten songs, seven were produced by Jus and another co-produced by him). Sure, the beats have plenty of change-ups but sometimes it all just seems forced together, and in the worst case ("I Triceratops") it tears the song in two. On the other hand, there are some great dirt beats that recall Funcrusher Plus-era Company Flow, and when Bigg Jus has focus, the songs work. This super mega-single would have been more consistent with only the original "Dent Puller" version of "Gaffling Whips" and its better, mixed-up "You've Changed" remix, along with "Plantation Rhymes (Runaway Mix)," the heartfelt story of "Dedication 2 PEO," and possibly "I Triceratops," because the beginning and end redeems it. I would be tempted to add the exceptional coffeehouse jazz-poetry of "The Story Entangles," featuring Angel Donyel, but it is only co-produced by Bigg Jus and doesn't even have him on it. Save it for a compilation, or her album, maybe. It's got some very fine songs, but Bigg Jus's limited edition release is too long by almost half. Really, what's left to put on the album? (Sub Verse)