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All Natural Elements: Fire

  • Words: Max Herman
  • Label: Dragon’s Breath
  • XLR8R Rating: 7/10

On album number four, Chicago’s original DIY hip-hop heads, All Natural’s Capital D and Tone B. Nimble, return to form, employing a wealth of rugged beats and free-flowing rhymes. The fiery theme comes through nicely here, with head-nod-evoking anthems like “The All” and “Somethin of Nothin” carrying the incendiary energy of classic M.O.P. tracks, minus the blatant thug appeal. Yet the duo and its producers (Kev Brown, Battletek. et al.) don’t beat listeners over the head with the same boom-bap formula. On the dub-leaning “Signature Flow” in particular, Cap D shows that he can deliver his famous battle rap heat without getting overly heated. Essential for purists, and highly recommended for everyone else.

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