Magic Heart Genies Heartifact

With a crazy flow that’s often utilized like an instrument, Freestyle Fellowship member Myka 9 might just be one of the best MCs you’ll ever hear. He’s certainly the most interesting. As Magic Heart Genies, he teams with JtheSarge and DJ Drez for a somewhat cheesy concept album about two genies empowered by a mystical jewel shaped like a heart. Thankfully, the concept only creates a very loose framework and then they fill the album with solid songs displaying plenty of skill. However, while JtheSarge is a wicked, style-chopping, rapid-fire rapper in his own right, in this crew he comes off a little too much like a second-rate Myka 9. Still, they work well together, sounding natural on both the soulful, jazz-inflected, slow jam-style productions and the up-tempo, anthemic boom bap beats. DJ Drez brings a bit of flash with his cuts, although they could have used a little more of that, especially on the long outro for "Get Together,” a track with a heavily organic feel thanks to an injection of live instrumentation. In the end, it’s heavy, slamming tracks like "Quandry,” "Multicultures,” "The Get Off” and "Yes Y’all” that truly stand out as the most interesting and entertaining. (Alpha Pup)