Swollen Members Black Magic

This is absolutely what you’d expect from the country’s biggest hip-hop group — clean, crisp production that creates a "dark” mood (guys, you’re not really dark, and it’s okay), while simultaneously being so poppy your ears can taste the bubbles. While underground heads might not be blown away by this, Swollen’s ability to make hit singles is, frankly, amazing and pretty much unparalleled in Canada. Since the boys are big willies now, there are some big-time guests helping deliver the goods like Ghostface, the Alchemist, Everlast, and of course, one-time member Moka Only. Prevail remains the group’s best rhymer, though Madchild manages to move (slightly) beyond just saying a series words, as evidenced on the title track with DJ Swamp. But, like on "Swamp Water” with Planet Asia and Phil Da Agony, it’s clear who the group’s most swollen member is — producer Rob the Viking. (Battle Axe)