Intelligentlemen Face Value

Following up two previous independent CDs, Saskatoon, SK's Intelligentlemen take a new approach. It all starts with a beautiful slab of seven-inch vinyl, and it's a nice, thick one, for sure. It's a picture disk, with quirky, balloon-headed faces spread around the white vinyl background. A-side track "F.A.K.E." is a jazzy, boom-bap beat by group member Beats Me backing an attack on fakes from rappers Rewind, Polty and Gescha, while B-side track "Wasted Years" has the three MCs bragging about their capacity to drink over another chill headnodder from Factor, with DJ Known's cuts adding an extra dimension. While the vinyl is worth the price alone, the seven-inch comes with a download card for a five-song EP containing "F.A.K.E." and "Wasted Years," as well as smooth douche/braggadocio track "I'm Bad," a jazzy, piano-heavy ode to forging your path, "No Regrets," and mellow, laidback ballad "Wishin" to end it off. Sure, the EP is available for free on-line, but this seven-inch is just too nice to pass up, especially if you dig nice artwork and cool packaging. (Independent)