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Mars Ill Backbreakanomics

A lot of indie hip-hop is marred by muddy production, but Mars Ill producer Dust serves up plenty to sink your teeth into on Backbreakonomics, from well-done, but standard, dusty funk breaks to considerably more adventurous and hard-hitting '60s rock and blues-flavored cuts. Meanwhile, MC manCHILD lays down his credo-Believe it or not, we don't claim to represent "every element of hip-hop" before launching into confessional, yet still fairly hard-hitting and political lyrics. The Atlanta duo's formula could use some tightening up, but these cats are hungry and have more to say with their beats and rhymes than most of the abstract backpacks.

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