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Various Cape Of Good Dope

Hip-hop, ragga and dub function as a global id, harnessing social issues to South African rhythmic techniques on this collection from the African Dope label. The beats on the 19-track monster have a lo-fi rawness, ranging from the fidgety analog bass of Constructus's "It Don't Mean a Thing..." and the off-kilter synth tweaks of Neon Don's "Life is Neon," to Moodphase5ive's funk breaks and the dubby echoes of Joshu's "Movement." The rappers lack the easy flow of their American counterparts, but the subject matter is familiar, albeit with a broader worldview. Occasionally haunting cuts, like the prescient, pre-9/11 "Sad Girl in Japan" (in which the word "Afghanistan" echoes over and over), speak to the vision and potential of the SA scene.

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