The Scope Of Things

Artist: Move.meantTitle: The Scope Of ThingsRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Max Herman

Nowadays when heads listen to an album, they're probably not going to mind hearing a feel good joint here and there. But the reception may not be as welcoming to an album entirely comprised of upbeat material. On its full length debut, L.A. trio Move.meant (Champ, Just Beats, and DJ Spider) defies these odds. With producer Just Beat's soul-inspired backdrops and MC Champ's oft-uplifting rhymes, The Scope of Things (Wax Paper) sees these Angelinos undoubtedly go against the mean mugging norm of Hip-Hop today.

Even on this album's more rugged tracks like the sinister piano-laden "Gunpowder Language," they unleash the positive vibes. Lines here like "I'll be damned if I peddle ignorance for a little bit of cents with my people in a trench" sum up Champ's approach to a T. By maintaining such an honest discourse, the crew may not always appeal to the image-hungry masses, although they do have their universal moments. Take "Say When," a horn and bass guitar-driven sure shot, which examines how the drug game is crippling America's school system and blue collar job market. Champ is at his best here by keeping it blunt: "If jobs don't pay and schools don't teach/Ain't a whole lot within reach."

Throughout this album, Champ proves to be an advocate for everyday people. Whether recalling childhood obstacles that were overcome ("Someday") or looking out for the kids today ("Myself In You"), this trio's good intentions are felt. But in reality, there are only so many motivational raps and joyous soul samples one will care to hear. Technically, there's not a bad song on The Scope of Things. On the same note, Move.meant would definitely benefit from broadening its sound a little. For now, though, any fan of the strictly feel good Hip-Hop will likely get something out of this album.