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by
1 January, 2000@12:00 am
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The Shapeshifters are like Hip-Hop aliens, born and bred amidst the smog and clutter of L.A. yet honed and seemingly cultivated by the rap version of Oscar The Grouch, AWOL One. Synonyms with multiple generation dubs that are as gruff and fuzzy as his ever-unique vocals, Awol personifies the L.A. underground like no other. Like the first time you heard old Ras Kass in a clear crisp bump, his latest, Souldoubt lays Awolrus over his cleanest bed of beats (provided by another Los Angeles standout, Daddy Kev) to date.

What makes this release so special is that even after all the cleaning up and primping out (assisted by ISP’s D-Styles), Awol remains the same Awol, just more audible and with a vastly improved bump. A track like “Rhythm” will pleasantly surprise longtime followers as well as draw in countless new fans, as the incorporation of club-friendly aesthetics and Blowdian-bred stylings make for an infectious marriage other crossover acts have failed repeatedly at (again, see Ras Kass). The bumps successfully continue with brash appeal on tracks like “Agony”, a headbanger of once again surprisingly results. The murky “Revolution” rolls subtlety with a softly crooning Awol modestly claiming “I make beautiful things fight each other, I make pretty things get ugly”. With an end result leading the listener to some simultaneous rewind/volume-pump action. Which could be said for throughout Souldoubt; Awol One and Daddy Kev collectively churn-out an album full of crisp, loveable music with unequivocally substantial rhymes happily meandering in all directions.

Souldoubt will open the closed heads of the past and bring them together with the faithful followers of the duration. Awol’s catalog is thick and sometimes difficult, this introduction will hopefully lead you on a journey to seek his often overlooked and misunderstood classics. From terribly sound quality to club-friendly bumps, the all encompassing Awolrus awaits you.

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