Lone Catalysts Hip Hop

The Venetia, PA-based hip-hop duo of Jason Rawls and Jermaine Sanders put out a raw underground hip-hop album that may lack big budget studio finesse but makes up for it with passion for the medium and culture while being liberally dosed with lyrical skill. Hip-hop legend Taleb Kweli gives a cameo appearance on this album as well. This CD is one of those bargain deals where you get 15 listed tracks with six bonus tracks to boot. Rather than put out ultra polished studio tracks, these artists seem more occupied with the evolution of lyrical expression, trying different themes and rhyme styles, tirelessly honing their skill. There are party anthem-style tracks like "Place To Be," storytelling rhymes like "Ayan Na Monet," political rhymes like "Xtinction" and mind-bending tongue twisters like "Due Process," and this is just scratching the surface. The beats and samples are simple and pared down to make room for the fluid, tightly constructed vocals. Hands down, I would snap up a Lone Catalysts album from a music store over any big budget production, since language is a living breathing entity with the former made from love and dedication to this time honoured urban culture. (Bukka)