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1 January, 1999@12:00 am

Up and down the West Coast of the US and Canada are a steady stream of artists who keep pumping out quality hip-hop. The Mind Clouders are made up of 2Mex and Mum’s the Word, and have enlisted some of their fellow West Coasters on this effort. They include Iriscience, Key-Kool, Vixxen and Circus. So how’s that shit sound?

Seems like no one can go anywhere with their posse, and apparently 2Mex and Mum’s the Word are just like the rest of us. These tracks with featured artists really shine above the rest. On “Paranoia Shiek”, you’re treated to drawn out, operatic tones over which the impact of paranoia on one’s life is discussed. Iriscience steals the show, as he plays out the paranoia that exists on a ordinary day. “Upside Down 6″ treats you to 9 different MC’s, each rhyming about a different topic. Put all the verses together, and they don’t make much sense, since you’re getting 9 different stories. But treat each one as its own story, and you begin to realize the skills that were just unleashed. Circus and Life Rexall appear on “Unraveling”, which speaks on having thoughts of going crazy and just losing it, but being able to maintain and keep focus. Interesting use of sound here, with the sound of modems connecting appearing throughout, giving it a futuristic/video game type vibe.

So can 2Mex and Mum’s the Word get the job done on they own? Of course they can. They open up the album nicely with “Hollow Victory”, in which they’re bragging about actually putting out an album, and you listening to their shit. “Funny Isn’t It” assumes that you’re digging the Mind Clouders, and that a friendship has developed. Interesting concept here. On “Fake It Until The Outro”, 2Mex and Mum’s the Word poke fun at their rhyming skills, that they managed to get it this far on the album.

Don’t take them seriously though, cause the Mind Clouders do have what it takes, even if they don’t always believe it themselves. These kids are comedians, hammin’ it up on the mic. And they pull it off, keeping you tuned in until the final cut. Seems like everyone wants to be serious on the mic nowadays, it’s always good to see shit like this. Expect a fun album, which doesn’t disappoint.

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