Living Legends


BY Del F. CowiePublished Apr 1, 2005

Apparently this is the first time the Living Legends crew has genuinely convened to create an album together and, if that’s the case, it shows. The album brims with an intangible energy and reconciles the lack of immediacy that was present on some of their recent releases. On this ambitiously titled record, the veteran Bay Area collective’s primary achievement is maintaining their cohesion while navigating a sonic array of beats with whatever comes to mind amongst their lyrical cipher. If their goal was to show they can rock any style over any beat with no main topic than the crew have largely succeeded. Highlights include the Madlib banger "Blast Your Radio,” the stutter-funk of "Brand New” and the sun kissed vibe of "Good Fun.” The crew also employ a lot of synth-based production, and while the style works on "It’s Us Again,” it’s probably used on a few too many tracks and begins to overshadow the MCs. That’s a shame because the Grouch and Murs in particular, flex from introspective to party mode in equally convincing fashion showing there is much substance that the frantic mic- passing might belie. Only the most hardened hip-hop purist won’t find anything here to their liking, indicating the Living Legends crew should probably get together a bit more often.

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