Exile 4TRK Mind

Exile4TRK Mind
L.A. MC/producer Exile works hard. He's produced two solo albums, two albums with Aloe Blacc, as Emanon, and for Snoop Dogg, Kardinal Offishall, Blu, Pharaohe Monch and Mobb Deep. Recorded entirely on four-track, 4TRK Mind is his first go at a rapping full-length. The best tracks hearken back to the raw beats and inimitably daffy punch lines of Diamond D's Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop. Ex answers his scratched strings and vocal samples with sloppy, but entertaining, shit-talk on "Klepto," while "Crazy in the Head" freaks a captivating flute loop with perfectly dusty drums. Even when the material is familiar, it's enjoyable, as when Ex reminisces fondly about his youth on "Younger Days" over rickety drums and wistful keys. "When Nothing's Left" should have heads clamouring for a sequel to Below The Heavens, with Ex reuniting with former rhyming partner Blu over a hearth-warm Otis Redding sample. While Exile's MCing won't make Blu lose sleep, he fits these soulful beats like a glove and turns 4TRK Mind into a fun, head nod-inducing listen. (Soulspazm)