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Family Tree Tree House Rock

Chicago's Family Tree crew has been building up a rep for making solid tunes. This compilation illustrates that, though it isn't without some skipworthy tracks. The production, largely by the criminally underrated Molemen, is consistent throughout, heavy on the boom-bap and buoyed by creative samples. And there's plenty of great scratch hooks courtesy of Tone B. Nimble and DJ Precyse. The rapping, on the other hand, has a few dead spots. Take, for example, "Horse," featuring Mr. Greenweedz and Allstar. It's a great concept-the MCs trade verses in a game of Horse-but it's muddled in subpar rhyming. But the Family Tree is a collective of good lyricists, if not always the best MCs, so the good moments far outweigh the bad on this collection.

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