Presto State of the Art

State of the Art should give hardcore hip-hop addicts a boner. Veterans like Sadat X, Large Professor, CL Smooth and Fatlip, as well as next-gen rappers like Blu, T Weaponz and Raashan Ahmad, complement beats by Presto. The 18-track album is what Funkmaster Flex’s mixtapes should have been but were too phoned-in by their guests to resonate as anything more than a party pop-in. State of the Art is a genuinely good CD (and DVD) that earns repeated plays no matter the occasion. Somehow Presto, a relative unknown, has not only conscripted some of the industry’s nicest for his portfolio project but managed to get them to deliver as best they can. They don’t just donate 16 bars of similes comparing themselves to all things great, these are actual conceptualised songs. He maintains a balance between his cameos and beats, never letting his production get outshined. (Concrete Grooves)