Them Them

There are good albums you listen to for a while and then put aside, and there are great albums you listen to for the rest of your life. Them's self-titled debut is of the latter category, a classic hip-hop album that is destined to forever burst the boundaries of what should be considered hip-hop. Comprised of 1200 Hobos members Dose One and Jel, Them is a few steps ahead of their previous collaboration, Dose's Hemisphere debut. Dose isn't really your typical rapper, opting instead to deliver his abstract poetics in a spoken word flow that moves with Jel's constantly morphing production. While J. Rawls, Moodswing 9 and Mr Dibbs contribute some top-notch production to the album, it's Jel's beats that help catapult Them into classic status. However, "John Brown's Vaporizer," produced by 1200 Hobos head honcho Mr Dibbs, is easily one of the top tracks on the album, with its heavy drums and majestic samples. "Joyful Toy of a 1001 Faces" and "Grass Skirt & Fruit Hat" are also great tracks on a great album, but the anthemic closing track, "It's Them," is the highlight. Jel constantly changes up the drum pattern on a track that is nearly dominated by drums, Dose flows phenomenally with those drums. Now, let's see some more experimentation from the rest of you. (Anticon)