Arcee MixedWell

Arcee has been holding down Toronto’s most prestigious hip-hop college radio timeslot as the co-host of The Real Frequency on Saturday afternoons but he’s also been steadily issuing some dope records of his own for the past few years. Until now these records that have appeared on other artists’ albums and compilations have been strictly available in vinyl format, but MixedWell brings all the tracks together in a taut entertaining package. Arcee’s taste in beats favours bouncy head-nodders heavy on the jazz and funk influences and what becomes apparent is how well he’s worked with different producers over the years while making the tracks his own. Arcee has a solid bond with Seattle’s Jake One who lays the foundation for several tracks. But he’s also linked nicely with Nautilus for the Sesame Street inspired "Twelve,” Da Grassroots ("Thematics”), and DJ Serious ("You Know Me”). The latter track features the turntablist talents of Turnstylez crew member Lil’ Jaz, who splices the tracks together on MixedWell. While he lets Arcee’s clearly-enunciated shotgun flow take centre attention he does have his own moments. On the raucous posse cut "Stripes” featuring Brassmunk, IRS and Stanford Grizzle aka Kardinal Offishall, Lil’ Jaz’s impeccable beat-juggling skills gradually chop down the sampled guitar link into his own riff and tempo. The mix tape flavour adds to the no-frills emceeing on display and definitely makes all the tracks collected here the greater than the sum of their parts. (Fifty-Fourth)