Crunk 23 Dirty Bling

While Moka Only might be Canada’s undisputed most prolific MC, Guelph, ON rapper Noah 23 surely isn’t that far behind. Dirty Bling is only one of three Noah 23 projects to be released pretty much simultaneously by Crunk Chris’s Legendary Entertainment label, and one other is still set to drop in September. Dirty Bling comes off as much more focused than Noah’s previous collaboration with Chris, Crunk 23’s Technoshamanism, in large part thanks to the excellent production of Crunk Chris, who, despite his name, concocts a solid selection of industrialised jungle and jungle-inspired hip-hop beats. Whether mellow and ethereal as on "Aquaductro,” a minimal mix of drums and voices for "Crown Chakra Blues,” a chaotic mix of piano with drums for "Etheric Lattice,” or any of Chris’s more typical productions, the beats are a perfect match for Noah 23, who delivers both his braggadocio and his metaphysical, drug-influenced paranoia. It’s a combination best exemplified by Noah on "Thoughts Become Things” when he raps: "Oh, you’re mad ’cause I’m stylin’ on you, and I’m mad ’cause I ate the psilocybin mushroom,” with a higher quotient of rapid-fire flows than on most of his recent releases. It’s a pleasant return to his roots for Noah and some of the best production Chris has put to CD. Dirty Bling is highly recommended. (Legendary)