Polyrhythm Addicts: Break Glass

After the successful 1999 release, Rhyme Related, the musically-talented, Hip-Hop educated Addicts are back. This time around they bring a lady friend. Break Glass (Babygrande) formally introduces Tiye Phoenix as she joins DJ Spinna, Mr. Complex, and Shabaam Sahdeeq on this prolific release that is sure to restore the faith in Hip-Hop fiends. Each member adds a special touch to create a uniquely classic sound; Sahdeeq’s wisdom, Tiye’s soulful sexiness, Mr. Complex’s underground swagger, and Spinna’s sharp and keen ear. The title of the album is an obvious analogy of the Addicts’ attempt to steer Hip-Hop in a different direction. Within every track, there is a defensive attack on what is wrong with today’s definition of Hip-Hop. On the opening track, “Smash,” Spinna’s dramatic beat keeps you hooked but heightens all senses to the meaning of the lyrics. Tiye raps, “You got money, but you’re heart is pure wanksta/30 is the new 20/Smart is the new gangsta.” The cohesiveness of Spinna’s jazzy beat and the signature uplifting sound of Pharoahe Monch on “Reachin’” couldn’t be any more precise. The climax of the album is, appropriately titled, “Goin’ Down.” If the erotic flow isn’t an effective aphrodisiac, wait until Tiye meticulously puts together classic lines from Hip-Hop love songs. The contemplative playfulness of being in love continues in “Thoughts Of You.” The Poly Addicts breakdown the definitive qualities that used to separate men and women in relationships and in music. Tiye unleashes her MC talent in “We Kno” with the speed, tenacity, and style of early Lauryn Hill.It’s back to the music as the album comes to a close. Phonte of Little Brother drops in on “It’s My Life.” The slow and steady beat is a great host to the organic vibe. The minimally-altered “Zonin’ Out (Remix)” includes a hidden track of a spoof audition for the female spot in Polyrhythm Addicts. Break Glass is one of those rare, wholehearted albums. With four vastly talented musicians it shouldn’t be any surprise that it’s a sharp reflection of their freshness.