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1 January, 2000@12:00 am

 Longtime Lyricist Lounge duo has forever been the topic of conversation in underground circles, since early appearances on A Tribe Called Quest and Black Star albums. Even gracing both Lyricist Lounge compilation albums, as well as MTV’s Lyricist Lounge television show, the question remains as to why we haven’t seen any 12″ singles or full-length releases from this crew.

Finally, the Mona Hip-Hop imprint has taken the responsibility of releasing a project from this crew, in hopes to settle the anxious fans down. Unfortunately, what’s discovered when listening to the EP, is that there probably isn’t a more mismatched duo in hip-hop today than Punch & Words. Unlike other yin-and-yang groups like Outkast or Public Enemy, the opposites attract rule doesn’t apply here. Punchline seems like a serious street cat, while Wordsworth has a more light-hearted, humorous rhyme style. The only problem is, the two don’t compliment each other, as Words steals the show every time.

But how big of an accomplishment is stealing the show, when the beats aren’t much to speak for either? The overall song structure of this EP is all over the place, whether it’s the ridiculous “I-95″, emulating the ludacris bounce stlyes of down-south, or the hint of N.Y. City thuggery that looms over tracks like “So What”. Bad hooks also taint the project, such as the ill contradiction of backpack emcee Wordsworth screaming about “War”, or the monotony of “Watching Me”.

Its clear that everyone involved here is out of their element. While Kurt Gowdy and Punchline may make a decent team up for average underground street records, Wordsworth’s funny-style has no business over these kinds of beats. We’ve seen Words shine on MTV, and even brighter with worthy opponents like Q-Tip and Mos Def. Even this EP’s “Mistress” offers a glimpse of what Words can offer the audience, so maybe solo careers are the move for both emcees.

  Mixtape D.L.
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