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by Peter Agoston
1 January, 2000@12:00 am
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?The Molemen ain’t new to this, without a doubt the production trio of PNS, His-Panik, and Memo have signified the underground esthetic as well as that Chicago grit many heads have come to love with a true-to-the-movement perseverance. It’s actually a little surprising that its taken this long for the fellas to come out with a collective album. Amassing tracks since before the independent game was even considered that, the Molemen have supplied a musical backdrop for an array of local affiliates (J.U.I.C.E., All Natural , Rubberoom) as well as colleagues from NYC (MF Doom) to Cali (Rasco).

Branching out to emcees of all forms has proven a trademark of the Molemen and a testament to their versatility and staying power in the game of Rap. Ritual Of The Molemen enlists a healthy line-up of different artists proving that regardless of delivery or style, if you can spit and do it well, then you can make a dope song (where else will Buck 65 and Grand Daddy I.U. appear on the same album?).

Gladly, 12″ classics like the memorable “How We Chill Pt. 2 (’96)” featuring a very hungry collab of Rhyme Fest and Juice as well as the overlooked banger, “Keep The Fame” with Vakill, Rhymefest and the ever unforgettable Percee-P, make for a pleasingly nostalgic listen. Stepping outside of the Windy City, collaborations with outta town artists prove diverse in the pairing yet without a doubt dope. Slug burns a mark both on his solo exploration “How I Won The War” and when joined by Aesop Rock and MF Doom on the fun in “Put Your Quarter Up”. Rasco returns with one of his more solid efforts of late on “No Guarantees”, a much needed banger from the vet. Even the Anticon affiliates, the Sebutones make for a memorable appearance on the somber “Game”.

While Ritual Of The Mole Men is not without its undesirable moments; a few dull appearances and a couple not-so-memorable beats hardly knock the 18 track debut off its feet. The Molemen make beats that stay dirty no matter how hard you dust and their emcees of choice follow suit, making Ritual.. a nighttime treat with Chicago bred aesthetics and musical stylings born in the sewers, before it was considered chic to deem oneself underground.

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