Sound Providers Looking Backwards: 2001-1998

While this is a nice snapshot of some late 20th century hip-hop, it’s impossible not to wonder why you need a retrospective from a group you probably don’t even remember. Perhaps it’s because in 2003, MC Profile went solo, and producer Jasib Skills and MC Soulo now need some skrilla for upcoming projects. Regardless, the strength of their back catalogue rests on Skills’ jazz and bebop infused beats, whose funky, uplifting and care-free bump brings you back to just before hip-hop went to hell. If you need proof, check the sweet keys of "Who Am I” and "Dope Transmissions,” or "Get Down,” the group’s biggest single back in the day. Profile and Soulo, though, hold their own, wearing their Cali influences well, and, on the previously mentioned joints, sound like they could be lost (white) members of J5 or Dilated Peoples. (ABB)