Black Sheep



    It’s nice to see that with their newest album, Dres and Mista Lawnge of Black Sheep haven’t moved far away from their initial sound: well thought out, semi-conscious hip-hop. It’s been twelve years since they released Non-Fiction and fifteen since their classic debut, A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, but this album (mostly thanks to emcee Dres) has the unforced feel of good Das Efx, Black Star, Camp Lo, vintage KMD and, of course, the group’s old affiliates in Native Tongues. The group takes potshots at the pimped-up vibe of rap today in opener “U Mean I Don’t?!?” and alternates between similar grown-up takes on the accepted contemporary hip-hop lifestyle, surprisingly blue sex-rhymes, and measured shots of old-school nostalgia, the latter best showcased on album highlight “B-Boys Theme.” Low-key as it may have been, 8WM/Novakane is a welcome return from an arguably underappreciated source of quality raps.







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