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Best of Boston 2009

Tanya Morgan | Brooklynati

Interdependent (2009)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  May 6, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars

Von Pea, Donwill, and Ilyas must have a master plan. Even with so many elements against them — from their stupid group name to a brand of soulful horn-hop that know-nothings claim expired sometime between Little Brother's 2003 debut and the subsequent dawn of hipster-hop — the Brooklyn-and-Cincinnati-bred trio have climbed to the pinnacle of alt-rap's perpetually fluctuating landscape.

Whereas their 2006 disc, Moonlighting, was across-the-board impressive but a tad monotonous, their latest hinges on memorable and unpredictable style jumps. "Bang N Boogie" is a sweet slice of vaudeville watermelon, the slow-rolling Phonte-fucked "She's Gone" picks up where Haddaway left off, and "Never Enough" is as competent a Soulquarians jack as I've heard. "Hardcore Gentlemen" — a half-sincere Pharcyde/Lords of the Underground/Onyx tribute — is expertly executed throwback fodder, whereas its chaser, "Plan B," is mellow guitar gold spun with existentialist dramatics.

Even the skits are almost funny — I was nearly propelled to up my grade to 3.5 stars. But these guys need room to grow if they're going to outlive another dozen subgenre fads before their next album.
Related: Wu-Tang Clan's essential flavor, Ol' Dirty's dirty side, Brother Ali | The Truth Is Here, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Hip Hop, rap, Soulquarians,  More more >
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