Skhool Yard A New Way of Thinking

While Planet Asia's solo debut for Interscope remains MIA, he surfaces here as a member of Skhool Yard, a crew comprised of himself and four other long-time friends, namely Kubiq, Protest, Shake and Supa Supreme. Their mission on this eight-track EP is mostly concerned with ripping the mic, and the cause is aided and abetted by the production of Kutmasta Kurt. Displaying an array of chopped up and relentless tracks, Kutmasta Kurt provides a motivational foundation for the MCs to strike back at doubters on "Fashion Show" and the hard-hitting opener "Rap Moguls." Given the freshness of his beats, the use of a break heard on Royal Flush's "Iced Down Medallions," for "Cigar Splittas," stands out like a sore thumb. Despite this, the passion on the mic displayed by the MCs flowing over the invigorating beats is akin to the energy of a freestyle cipher, but they do take time out to reflect on their struggles on "Days of Our Lives," captured ably on the boards by Protest. All in all, it's a solid display by a crew exhibiting the combined promise of mic proficiency and top-notch production. (Threshold)