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The Living Legends Creative Differences

As hip-hop aficionados already know, this Oakland-originating nine-man crew has successfully embraced one of the keenest approaches to hip-hop: stay indie, be racially inclusive and pursue inventiveness, lyrical flips and musicality. After busting out their own magazine and settling in SoCal, the Legends' newest album, Creative Differences, features the core nine talents-Sunspot Jonz, Juckyiam PSC, The Grouch, Eligh, Scarub, Aesop, Bicasso, Arata and of course, the charismatic Murs. It's hard not to admire the sharp lyrical and musical ambition here, from the effortless, clear synchronization of beat and rhyme on "Hold Your Own" to the hardcore Japanese rapping on "How You Take It." Despite the Legends' fierce self-reliance and tireless self-promotion, this crew has been poised for commercial success for years-and Creative Differences might just be the thing to let the Cristal flow as easily as their verse.

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