eMC The Show

On any number of high-profile hip-hop super-group collaborations listeners have been programmed to be satisfied that their revered artists have decided to throwdown together on the same track rather than look for material that's held together by more than a half-baked concept. eMC's The Show is understandably different for a number of reasons. The fact that Wordsworth, Punchline, Stricklin and the highly influential Masta Ace are all severely underrated MCs rather than revered icons is actually an asset. None of these MCs attempts to impose ego on the proceedings, which serves this excellent long player's overall concept well. Granted, The Show's narrative isn't particularly deep or original but in the hands of these versatile and skilled MCs it's an undeniable triumph. The Show is exactly about what it implies: a day in the life, and the trials and tribulations, leading up to a show the four MCs are doing while on tour, recounting such seemingly mundane incidents as waiting around at the airport to doing radio station interviews. Clearly influenced by Masta Ace's Disposable Arts and A Long Hot Summer opuses, the whole thing is held together by skits linking the song titles and subjects in a simple yet extremely effective manner. The high level of rewind-worthy wordplay of the quartet goes without saying — there's not a weak link in the bunch — and solid production (including contributions from Toronto's Marco Polo) and judicious guest appearances make it simply one of the most cohesive and enjoyable releases of the year thus far. (M3)