The lone guest appearance from Little Brothers stellar 2003 debut The Listening, Median has held his gifts for the longest, operating off of message boards and networking sites to get his music out there. Now having linked up with Wordsworth and Oddissees home, Halftooth Records, almost five years later than his Justus League cohorts, the MC drops Medians Relief (Halftooth).The common man themes of rap are passé. Records like Blackalicious Swan Lake or The Pharcydes Passin Me By were anthems 15 years ago, but todays audience appears to resonate with fantasy above reality. That being said, Median, undoubtedly a commoner himself, uses creativity to bridge the gap. Brendas Baby is a what-if, linking 2Pacs early hit to the recent film Maria Full of Grace. This isnt presented as a Canibus/Killah Priest-esque conspiracy theory, but rather as a rap fan watching an art flick, and comparing the two. Equally, How Big is Your World disguises itself as a 9/11 reflection, and works as a simple message for change. With a mic presence and delivery not unlike Speechs of Arrested Development, Median has a mild-manner, almost conversational flow. This serves as nice contrast to the aficionado attitudes from MCs in todays underground and the baritone growls of the mainstream. To some, Median and his subject matter, may be vanilla and drab. However, who knew that being common could be so different in Hip-Hop?Production matches the middle-of-the-road lyrics. 9th Wonder provides four cuts, most notably the aforementioned How Big is Your World, which instills a Premier-like timing, with warm accented tones, and scratches in the chorus. Newcomer Ant B holds it down with What Would You Do? which has chilly congo drums and deft vocal sampling. At no point does Median rely on Khrysis, Nicolay or 9th to deliver him a hit, but rather, each luminary provides their Soul compositions against Medians reflections in a cohesive way.Medians Relief follows in line with the Halftooth catalogue. The Wilmington, North Carolina MC has a lot to offer. Perhaps 16 tracks is a bit too much, and the numerous remixes and updated older tracks get the listener bogged down in reconsiderations. Still, at several points in the album, Median proves himself different from his group-mates, and chooses a less-traveled stance in Hip-Hop that makes him accessible to anyone willing to admit theyre just normal. SOUNDCHECK:Median CollageMedian How Big Is Your World?