A decade after two young Oakland transplants came together as Themselves, the now-seasoned artists, MC Doseone and producer Jel, have returned from their many projects to reinvigorate the seminal collaboration. The resulting album is a digestibly eclectic piece of psychedelic hip-hop that easily rivals their past work. Doseone's rhymes rarely sound more vehement and clearheaded than they do on vocal workouts "Oversleeping" and "You Ain't It," while "Roman is as Roman Does" and "Skinning the Drum" exhibit Jel's skill in fashioning both traditional beats and leftfield productions. Those who couldn't navigate the dense experimentation of the duo's debut, Them, but enjoyed traversing the more "accessible," atmospheric beats of Anticon supergroup Subtle, should find CrownsDown a greatly rewarding listen.
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