Opio Triangulation Station

Remember how we used to chill back in '93? Well, if not, Opio, of the famed Hieroglyphics/Souls of Mischief crew, is back to remind you with Triangulation Station. A funk-filled odyssey, this breezy, West Coast flavoured album is devoid of gangster braggadocio, which is a breath of fresh air. Opio enlists Pigeon John, Planet Asia, Del Tha FunkyHomosapien and Souls of Mischief (on "Drivers Wanted") to lace this album with more than its fair share of metaphorical munchies. Del delivers one of his lackadaisical, but always dope portraits of ghetto life on "What's Wrong with This Picture." The hiccupping beats continue throughout the album and Opio's playful flow harkens back to hip-hop's party anthem beginnings — just strong lyrical wordplay, and plenty of it. Undulating rhythms and a sultry female vocalist makes "Talk Dirty" the best hip-hop slow jam since Kanye's "Slow Jamz." Anyone who can't get their fill of phat, funky fresh tracks needs to ensure this album is on their list of head-nodding summer albums. (Hiero Imperium)