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Strange Fruit Project The Healing

Named after the Billie Holiday classic, these three MCs (Myth, Myone, S1) from Waco, TX-a town that, in the early 1900s, allegedly lynched more black people than anywhere else in the US-deliver intelligent soul music worthy of Lady Day's blessing. For bittersweet, gospel-imbued, ghetto realism check out "Liberation." Dilla's influence permeates on the S1-produced "Ready Forum" and "Good Times," which sounds like UGK invading Slum Village. Easily one of the year's best releases, The Healing demonstrates that Texas hip-hop isn't just about candy paint and 22s.

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