Shapeshifters Know Future

For the best in lo-fi hip-hop experimentation, there can be none other than the way too funky Shapeshifters. With Know Future, the Shapeshifters follow up the recent re-release of Planet of the Shapes, the first in their "7 Second Delay Portrait of Earth Viewed From Mars" series. Know Future, like its predecessor, is a two-CD collection of some of the strangest, Frankenstein-esque hip-hop concoctions known to mankind. The subject matter roughly rotates around religion, science and conspiracy, like a warped soundtrack to The X-Files. Circus, our surrogate Agent Mulder and Shapeshifters' head, tends to dominate the mic time with his efx-laden word-association poetics you either love or hate. Regardless, it makes Circus the most notable and noticeable MC on the album. A close listen reveals a plethora of talent throughout: Awol One, Radio Inactive, Life Rexall, Ludichris, Megabusive, Buck 65, Sixtoo, and Sole, to name a few. There are about 28 songs over the two CDs, including a bonus track on each CD, a nearly ten-minute posse cut and an even longer six-part epic posse cut ("Tha Intellectual Holy Chessmen") built to rival the Pyramids and Stonehenge as Wonders of the World. However, the Shapeshifters may not be for everyone, due to their occasional forays into noise and often-paranoid subject matter. But, if you're looking for something different, this is one of the few CDs you should buy this year. Besides, what can be so wrong with a group that so obviously rips-off pop culture icons like Transformers, G.I. Joe, Star Wars and Masters of the Universe? (Mean St.)