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Various 7Heads R Better Than 1 Volume 1: No Edge Up In South Africa

Hip-hop has always been long on lyrical wordplay, but few emcees can best 7Heads's staggering lineup (J-Live, Asheru, El Da Sensei). Using the tonsorial tastes of South African b-boys as a potent metaphor for the post-apartheid struggle, the visionary label's latest comp includes new joints from Audissey (of Mass Influence) and NY up-and-comer Wordsworth (the name is apt, as his language skills are copious and free flowing), alongside a rare remix of J-Live's seminal Braggin' "Writes" and special appearances by Talib Kweli and jazz band Soullive. Moreover, in an age when hip-hop comps usually double as only Hollywood blockbuster sales tools, abundant collections like this are like diamonds hauled from those deep South African mines-precious, and the result of years of hard labor.

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