Gensu Dean Lo-Fi Fingahz

Gensu Dean Lo-Fi Fingahz
Dallas, TX producer Gensu Dean was clearly weaned on the greats of '90s rap production. He's made his name supplying SP1200-fuelled funk to the likes of David Banner and Brand Nubian, leading up to Dean's debut compilation, Lo-Fi Fingahz. The album suffers from the same problem as most producer-curated compilations though: for every sure shot, there are two songs with no-names spitting forgettable rhymes. The album takes off with the right guests: Large Professor devotes himself to hip-hop on "Forever"; Brand Nubian flip 5 Percenter jargon on "In My Mind"; and Ikwon delivers sharply written hood lessons on "Block Prinup." David Banner's sincere bad-girl tribute, "Alice in Wonderland," is a welcome change of pace, yet Roc Marciano shows the most chemistry with Dean. Marciano's vibrant murder slang slides perfectly over the Blade Runner synths of "Yen" and the revving guitar stabs on "12 Jewels." Even when the rhymes don't measure up, Dean's knocking, Big Apple-inflected break beats are proof that he's a producer worth watching. (Mello Music Group)