Nefarius Tough Dumplin' Foundation For Better Beats

Despite the constant references to how broke they are, renegade Toronto crew Nefarius have finally scrounged up enough money to put together this ten-inch vinyl EP. Known for their humorous critiques of Canadian hip-hop, things start off with "Ponderin,'" a track wholly underlining their attitude, which got major play on college radio. The track is also notable for one of the finest appearances from group member Kwesro, who died in his sleep last year. "Lei Lo" brings some levity to the EP, featuring MC Collizhun cramming his lyrics full of West Indian patois and boisterous asides over an ill violin accompaniment. Wickedly original, it brings out Collizhun's ability to deftly mould his origins. "Toe To Toe" continues in a similar mode and welcomes Montreal brethren the Butta Babees. On the Banana side (the A side is inevitably called the Ackee side), the group drops instrumentals that show off their quirkiness and the scratching of DJ Don D, confirming that Nefarius, despite the hi-jinx, are an outfit that are seriously on the rise. (Tough Dumplin)