Masterminds Live From Area 51: The Extraterrestrial Project

Contrary to the mysterious X-Files overtones the EP title might suggest, upcoming NYC MCs Kimani and Oracle, focus on simply delivering tight lyrics and body-rocking beats. It is the production that determines the success of the tracks here, when they are superior, they urge the MCs on to better flows. This is demonstrated on the addictive bounce of “Bring It Back” and the quake-inducing bass of “The Rock.” When the duo get introspective, the sweet piano loop on “Memories” elevates it from the ranks of mediocre back-in-the-day tracks. Yet the beats on “Joints” are as ordinary as the title suggests and the lyrics consequently suffer. But with guest appearances by Company Flow’s DJ Mr. Len and Mr. Khaliyl (formerly Mr. Man from the Bush Babees) who appears on the layered closer “Onetwothree,” the duo make up for minor indiscretions and build on the buzz created by their “I’m Talented” single. (Exodus)