Motion Man Pablito's Way

Sure Gift of Gab threatens to outshine Motion Man on his own album with the Blackalicious front-man’s guest appearance on "One Time For Your Mind,” but it’s still evident that Motion Man has the most charismatic, energetic flow in hip-hop. Partnered with frequent production collaborator Kut Masta Kurt, Motion Man is near unbeatable. Pablito’s Way, titled after his birth name and how he’s doing it, is an 18 track (and two skit) mix of different styles that dabbles in salsa ("Pablito's Way”), sped-up soul samples ("I Crack Tall Ones”), Middle Eastern sounds ("Megalo Maniac”), hyphy ("Top Down”) and so on. His sophomore album also contains an interesting mixture of guests that includes, along with Gift of Gab, Bay Area pimp rapper Too Short, next-level scratch DJ Q-Bert, rapper Dizzy Dustin from throwback underground group Ugly Duckling, and relative unknowns like Mistah Fab, LC and Fathead, as well as the requisite Kool Keith appearance. Throughout, Motion Man delivers his comically clever wordplay with his readily identifiable, unique flow that rides the beat pretty much flawlessly and marks him as one of the best rappers in the underground. While not a perfect album, there’s enough variety on Pablito’s Way to ensure there will be something that appeals to each and every hip-hop fan, and little that should turn any of them off. (Threshold)