Blackalicious The Craft

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Sure, the bar was set high with Nia and Blazing Arrow, but Blackalicious–like their Quannum brethren-are good for it. Compared to those two joints, The Craft takes a more song-oriented approach, forgoing its forebears' concept album ambitions. And the payoff is large as usual: the team-up with George Clinton on the seductive "Louts Flower" is a blast, "World of Vibrations" finds Xcel at the peak of his production (which is already miles above that of other, more well-paid DJs) and, as usual, Gab spits lyrics like they were so many sunflower seeds. Get it.