Panacea Ink Is My Drink

This uprising of soulful hip-hop is really forming into something beautiful. The Washington DC pairing of producer K-Murdock and lyricist Raw Poetic have crafted an often gorgeous debut as Panacea show that with a little bit of creative tweaking soul vocals on 45 can still sound fresh. Murdock likes to flip show tunes and big band and shape them into magnificent little numbers like the rich orchestration of "Place on Earth” and cellos on reverse mode like Yellow Submarine — these unique sounds are what make Ink Is My Drink leap to the top of the pile of current duds plaguing hip-hop. Raw Poetic’s smooth flows strengthen the case that Panacea’s first full-length is a very strong one, but it’s just a shame they allow a fellow named Drew Thomas to get all Dave Matthews on one too many tracks. Still, with downright gorgeous soul numbers such as "Coulda Woulda Shoulda” and straight bangers like "Pulse,” you simply can’t hold it against Panacea very long for letting things get a little corny at times. (Glow-in-the-Dark)