Johnson&Jonson Johnson&Jonson

Johnson&Jonson Johnson&Jonson
L.A. rapper Blu may just possess one of the most fertile minds in hip-hop right now, a fact made firm by a busy 12-month run that produced both the strikingly observational Below The Heavens and admirably experimental C.R.A.C. Knuckles discs. His latest set (dropped under the moniker Johnson & Jonson) only further solidifies that claim, as the versatile motormouth joins forces with crate-digging producer Mainframe for a spine-altering excursion through this fluid display of dope rhymes and rare soul moods. Blu focuses purely on crafty braggadocio this time out, dishing amusing verses and bouncing like a kid on a sugar high over shifting grooves like the gritty punk edge of opener "Finally” or the deep ’70s funk and revolving jazz of tunes like "The Only Way” and "Perfect Picture.” Many, though not all, of Mainframe’s beats barely stray from the original sample material, but it’s his selections, along with Blu’s mastery of each break, that makes this record the serious piece of business it is. (Tres)