Rhythmicru Supertoke 2

Rhythmicru rapper/producer D-Ray presented his Supertoke mix-tape series last year with a decent first volume, but the Cru have truly come into their own on volume two. The compilation opens with the line "This is hip-hop, like the chronic” setting the stage for the numerous proclamations of allegiance to hip-hop and/or marijuana, as well as the relationship between the two. Outside of that, there are the expected instances of hip-hop braggadocio, plus D-Ray vents on "I Don’t Know” and drops a bit of knowledge on "Newfoundland Screetched-In,” and Atherton goes all Sage Francis on a heartbreaking ex with "Peg Leg.” The returning MCs — D-Ray, TheSnowyOwl and Cale Sampson (collectively Rhythmicru), along with Batho, Sporadic, Uncle Dropsi, Vandal, Shad K and More Or Les — have all stepped their game up since the first volume, but the highlight of Supertoke 2 is D-Ray’s production, especially his attention to detail and his quirky sample choices, whether with mellow jams like "Smoke the Night Away” and D-Ray’s Leonard Cohen-impersonating "Who Knew About It?” or fist-pumping anthems like "Turn It Up” and "Time Like the Present.” The subject matter might be a bit one-dimensional but Supertoke 2 is still underground hip-hop at its dopest. (Heads Connect)