Themselves The No Music

Let the backlash against Anticon officially begin. Ever since Buck 65 jumped ship after Man Overboard, things just haven't been the same for the label that bragged they were the "advancement of hip-hop." Arguably nothing has changed, but the last few Anticon releases have been more journal entry than entertaining journey. The sophomore album from Themselves, who released one of Anticon's finest albums under their original name of Them, has been highly anticipated for a while now. And it turns out to be another Anticon disappointment, although it's still better than the last few. Jel's drum-centric beats, with a slight touch of the Reaching Quiet-sound, are the most interesting part of The No Music. The production jumps from lo-fi roughness to soaring atmospherics, often within the same song, which is maybe how it should have stayed. With the exception of a few tracks ("Good People Check," "Paging Dr. Moon or Gun" and "Dark Sky Demo"), Dose moves even further from rapping. His lyrics are often so cryptic as to be indecipherable, when you can even hear them at all, thanks to loud beats and a low vocal mix. Relying on the messy lyric sheets is equally as confounding. It's left to Sole to advance the cause for Anticon. Let's hope he's up to the task. (Anticon)