Arcee "Stripes"/"Primetime"

Having put out a few singles over the years, and making his presence felt on Da Grassroots' criminally under-appreciated Passage Through Time album, this Toronto-area MC has taken a big step towards gaining more recognition by hooking up with ABB, who were instrumental in the success of Dilated Peoples, to distribute his latest single. And fortunately, he doesn't disappoint. "Stripes" is a high-energy posse cut featuring rising Toronto crews Brassmunk and IRS with Kardinal Offishall and Arcee book-ending the track. Riding a gritty guitar loop, all the MCs take the opportunity to flaunt microphone techniques and feed off the energy of the track. "PrimeTime" is more low-key, yet Arcee's flow on the track isn't tempered any. Another guitar loop is built upon to the elevated urgency of the chorus, complementing the theme of the record. Arcee's rapid-fire, yet clearly enunciated, "straight b-boy talk" speaks upon his ability to come through in the clutch, and that's unlikely to be questioned on this solid single release. (ABB)