Dragon Fli Empire Conquest

Originally released as a local, small-run CD-R in 2002, Calgary’s Dragon Fli Empire are finally able to drop their debut the way they always wanted. It’s a professional release now, and some songs have been updated while retaining the original vibe. The beats are laid-back, jazz-funk produced primarily by D.F.E. members DJ Cosm and Teekay. The latter also brings the smooth, conscious raps that remain positive, when all is said and done. The best moment is posse cut "From Under” that goes so underground it brings back the sounds of China on a Nato beat for Teekay and guests Shortop and C-Plus to brag and boast. Ohmega Watts guests on "Beauty Full 2.0,” but the original version that opens the album is smoother and slick! "D.E.F.” is a chill song with a great call and response chorus, perfect for live shows. "Mount Pleasant,” a Moka-esque travelogue of a favourite local route, would be the album’s first single, if there was one. With Conquest, D.F.E. proves a fine substitute for the M.I.A. Native Tongues movement. (MakeBelieve)