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Boston's Rap Class of 2011

A slice of area hip-hop's diverse scene — from hardcore boom-bap to frat rap
By ERIN BALDASSARI  |  September 29, 2011

>> MEETRetrospek's video director, Noah Craigwell <<

• Retrospek is an exceptional live outfit that nostalgic rap fans need to try on. As suggested by their name, the trio summon boom-bap greats of yore — from their Native Tongues vibe to their Black Star set-up — and embolden the throwback sentiment by rocking stage shows that could conjure memories of an early Beastie Boys jamboree.

MCs JuneLyfe and Spendacash don't choreograph their live antics, though it may appear that way. Rather DJ and producer Rah Intelligence drops sets and effects to match their movements, while Retrospek's rhymesayers bounce lyrics off one another like so many pinballs. "If I see June move one inch," says Spendacash, "then I just go the other way. It's organic."

For every track, from subtle tributes to more contemporary jazz, Retrospek say their sound is the result of their congregating around beatmaker Rah Intelligence's ones-and-twos for years. "All I had in my room was a set of turntables and a couch," says Rah, explaining the title of their next album, Sleepwalker's Remedy. "They'd just sit and listen, and I'd never sleep."

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