Butta Babees The Entrée

Montreal's Butta Babees have been turning heads for some time with their blend of thought-provoking lyricism and mellow-tight productions. While the balance between these two entities are often mismanaged in hip-hop, this crew is displaying increased competence in this area, as displayed on this EP release. The Entrée begins with the uplifting "Understand Yourself," anchored by a distinctive reggae feel with impressive wordsmiths Manchilde and Ziploks going for theirs on a track seriously worthy of repeated listens. No less potent is "Man 'n Motion," a teaming with Toronto female MC Motion, who also sings the hook over an intricately sewn track. "Green Sneakers" is a skills first demonstration, weaving in references to inspirational hip-hop recordings and nursery rhymes. A confirmation of the group's versatility on the mic is delivered on the previously issued "Baby Mother." Here, Manchilde vividly narrates the struggles of a single-mother. While there's only four tracks on the EP, there's no filler and the versatility, intelligent rhymes and smooth production underline why they were chosen as the best unsigned band at the 2000 edition of Canadian Music Week. (Universal)