U-N-I A Love Supreme

Spending close to two years building hype for themselves via blogs and playful street records Fried Chicken and Watermelon and Before There Was Love, L.A.'s U-N-I deliver a solid debut with A Love Supreme. Available for free download (a nod to their net-hype roots), the record sees U-N-I's Y-O and Thurz, along with producer Ro Blvd, crafting stories of contemporary L.A. life over fresh, sample-heavy beats. Instead of a cliché West coast rap record littered with references to low-lows over g-funk bass lines, A Love Supreme traverses more traditional hip-hop territory, pairing light-hearted raps with boom bap bass. "Pulp Fiction" sees the duo and collaborator Fashawn weaving the first urban survivor story with references to MySpace, and "Hollywood Hiatus" is a fun flip of an old school classic. Although there are some holes ("Windows" and "Stylin"), Ro Blvd's affinity for neck-cracking drums and interesting melodies keeps the momentum steady. (Honor Roll)