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Sleep of Oldominion Riot by Candlelight

The Dirty South has had it on lock for years now, and with all due respect, it's time for some new blood. The Pacific Northwest, an unlikely hip-hop stronghold if there ever was one, is ready to step up. Sleep is ringleader of Oldominion, an Anticon-ish collective of freaknik MCs from Bill Gates's hood. Sleep can tear off syllables at a cheetah's pace like Aesop Rock or Busdriver, but even his fastest rhymes make sense. When he does get abstract, he does it like an Impressionist, throwing around color to emphasize what's beneath. The sappy ballad/plea "Angelique" aims for Outkast's "Toilet Tisha" and misses, but the rest puts a new corner of the States on the rap map.

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