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Mike Ladd Negrophilia

Instead of cramping jazz into hip-hop‘s beats, Ladd lets hip-hop spill out in a manner that would make Ornette Coleman and other pursuers of freedom proud. Name dropping Duchamp and Malinowski, he isn‘t trying to be clever, just not interested in dumbing down. A bevy of instrumental tracks allow the talented live band to work their chops. On "Back at Ya," a duck-walking oboe riff is backed by what sounds like Tony Allen in a garage punk band: ominous, sad, sarcastic, and smart. Most of these tracks aren‘t exactly crowd pleasers, instead Ladd has carved out an unusual and consistent album.

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