7L and Esoteric | 1212

Fly Casual (2010)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  October 19, 2010
3.5 3.5 Stars


Ten years ago, my guess is that not even 7L and Esoteric could have imagined they'd go on to build one of the most reliable catalogues in indie-rap history. Yet more than a decade in, the Boston duo can look back without a smidgen of shame. In addition to their joint arsenal, Esoteric has a celebrated clip of eclectic side projects that together warrant a box set. But solo triumphs aside, 1212 (named for having 12 tracks each of which can stand as 12" singles) reminds us that 7LES is a brand whose execution requires both assailants. 7L equips trusty boom-bap beats with modern subtleties; Eso engages throwback mode, cracking dozens of dynamic similes and smacking mainstream newjacks who couldn't hold his jock strap with a wheelbarrow. For its finest moment, 1212 delivers a reunion between 7L and Wu-Tang rock star Inspectah Deck, who appeared on the 7LES rookie EP, Speaking Real Words, in 1999. With 7L finessing synthetic strings and Esoteric flipping the tightest verse of his career, it becomes clear that, like their guest star, these two have spanned the universe, and they're now returning home to claim their throne.

Related: Boston Hip-Hop Unity Fest 2010, Best Boston Rap Albums of 2010, Freudian trip, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , hip-hop, Esoteric, 7L
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE TRIALS OF NADIA NAFFE  |  March 04, 2013
    Young, attractive, ambitious, conservative, and black, Nadia Naffe should have been a right-wing operative’s dream.
  •   HIP-HOP TRIVIA GROWS UP  |  February 26, 2013
    In their fourth year of operation, the Hip-Hop Trivia squad is finally taking the night (somewhat) seriously.
  •   OCCUPY DENIED DAY IN COURT  |  February 22, 2013
    It took more than a year for Suffolk County prosecutors to come to their senses.
  •   CZARFACE SOARS ABOVE THE CLOUDS  |  February 11, 2013
    This week 7LES and Inspectah Deck drop Czarface , a full-length work of adventurous genius revolving around a metal-clad protagonist who feeds on destruction.
  •   THE BPD ADDS INSULT TO INJURY  |  February 05, 2013
    At times, this kind of decision makes you wonder whether the BPD is saving its best awards for officers who've been involved in the death of civilians.

 See all articles by: CHRIS FARAONE