Artist: Various ArtistsTitle: ConvexedRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: D. Allen

Underground heads be on alert. The Prof. has devised a new lesson plan for you to follow with his new compilation, Convexed. The well-known producer, dj, and journalist brings slept on mc’s to his Nature Sounds label with the intentions of leaving you craving for more releases. Having already provided the music for ESPN’s Streetball and masterminding High Times’ THC Vol.1, The Prof. blends 60 minutes of head-nodding beats with raw lyrics from underground greats.

MF Doom brings his lyrical skills on “Bells of DOOM.” A menacing beat captures Doom at his best with classic lines like, “Who got the most whips, gats, and cash/If you ask the villain, he say who gives a rats ass.” The legendary RA the Rugged Man rhymes with Timbo King on “Black and White”. The Prof. sets this track as a boxing match as black versus white while RA and Timbo spit back and forth mentioning their color in every line to a rough beat. The audio clips from HBO boxing add a nice touch. Ah, yes, the Worm King makes lends his talents to compilation on “845”. Cage talks about the county he reps and where he came from, while The Prof. supplies a slick, repetitive beat that makes Cage’s lyrics an all out assault.

Aesop Rock enthusiasts will be happy to learn that The Prof. has included him in the lesson plan. Aesop’s track, “Numb (to the guns)”, displays his feelings on media and effects of the government. He sums up his attitude with the line, “So when they ask what’s your opinion on the war/Tell them war sucks donkey dick/What’s the Knicks score.” This track may be the best I’ve heard from Aesop Rock aside from his Def Jux work.

The Prof. gives a taste of Masta Killa’s upcoming release on Nature Sounds with the singles, “Digi Warfare” and “The Day After”. The combination of an old school rhythm and Masta’s hypnotizing voice make for a classic track. If this is the first taste of Killa’s solo effort, those who have been awaiting a solid Wu-tang release will be asking for seconds, thirds, and so forth.

In a market where a fan usually can’t listen to a cd the entire way through, buyers of this album will not need to skip to the next track. It is more likely that they will want to keep hitting rewind. The Prof. puts together a definite classic for Nature Sounds. The overall production should get fans excited to hear future projects coming from The Prof.’s lab and having the roster that is on this album should also provide a heavy buzz. Nature Sounds produces pure hip-hop and The Prof. makes that evident with Convexed. In an unclear industry such as this, Nature Sounds gives true hip-hop fans a ray of hope that there are still creative people concerned with making genuine hip-hop music. Cop this immediately.

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