M.E.D. Classic

M.E.D. Classic
It's rare that a rapper takes six years between albums without label or personal problems. Listening to Classic's excellent dispensary dedication, "Medical Card," one gets a few ideas why M.E.D.'s sophomore effort took a while. Or blame fellow weed head Madlib, who blesses ten of the album's 14 tracks with his signature blunted soul. The production is the main attraction, though M.E.D.'s pinched voice and bruising flow can be enjoyable in small doses. "Where I'm From" is a fine entry into the "songs about Cali" canon, backed by a buttery Aloe Blacc chorus. Unfortunately, the Oxnard, CA MC lacks the personality to captivate over an album. Cameos by more distinctive rappers throw M.E.D.'s beige-ness into harsher light. OFWGKTA's Hodgy Beats tackles the sinister trunk rattle of "Outta Control" with nimble irreverence, while Talib Kweli kicks a '99 vintage verse on the title track, weaving effortlessly with Karriem Riggins' calming guitar. Extract the choice joints mentioned above and skip the album, unless you're a Madlib fanatic. (Stones Throw)