One Be Lo S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M.

After years of plying his wares throughout the American Midwest, Detroit native One Be Lo has finally found himself in a position to make some noise on the world stage. With S.O.N.O.G.R.A.M., his first album to be released through traditional means, Lo (a.k.a One Man Army) makes clear that he’s not about to waste this opportunity, delivering a solid album from top to bottom. The versatile emcee flips knowledge, flips beats, and flips off other emcees with an ease reminiscent of J-Live, dropping science and punch lines over rhythms that keep your neck working throughout. The smoothed-out, muffled keys of "enecS ehT no kcaB,” and solitary oboe sample of "Oggie” provide the perfect backdrop to the verbal tongue lashings and tales of loss that Lo imparts. One Be Lo further demonstrates his skills as both an emcee and producer on "Axis,” documenting the twisted thought processes that plague black youth over a melodic piano chord progression and snapping beat. At twenty-two tracks, the album comes in a little on the heavy side, but with few wasted moments to be found here this doesn’t turn out to be the negative you might expect. This album should turn a lot of heads. (Fat Beats)