Review ·

Deep Thinkers might be on to something. In between the dated b-boy posturing and nerdy one-liners on their debut, Necks Move, the Kansas City-based emcee/deejay duo of Aaron Sutton (a.k.a. Brother of Moses) and Kyle Dykes (alias: Leonard D. Stroy) deliver a batch of sonic goodies whose freshness is to hip-hop what Country Time lemonade is to August.

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Vocally, Moses's avoidance of the usual suspects (guns, sports drinks and shiny objects that spin) in favor of the verbal high road does little to help or hurt the far more interesting beats supplied by D. Stroy. There's enough cryptic brain-rap here to give Ghostface an aneurysm and warrant a standing ovation from Chuck D, but Moses's flow feels muted and unimportant. The most memorable lines come in "Rock the Beat," where the anti-commercial mantra "Fuck Vibe, Fuck Source, Fuck XXL" is repeated enough times to briefly erect hopes that "Fuck Prefix" appears next on the roll call. (It does not.)

But on the production side, D. Stroy comes armed with scraps of skittish beats and airy vibes (many of the Middle Eastern variety) more becoming of the next Warp release. His experimental approach is mostly out-of-step with Moses's elemental design, but when they connect, like on "Here One Minute" and "Suggestions," beware the soulful spirituality that makes you think and move.

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Deep Thinkers Web site

Deep Thinkers on Myspace.com (includes links to "Suggestions," "Burn 'Em Up," "We Live in Kansas City and ... " and "War of Words")

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