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by
1 January, 2001@12:00 am
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 Moderation. Something many hip-hop artists don’t fully grasp the scope and importance of. On a few levels moderation plays a vital part in the end result of Declaime’s full length debut (and follow-up to maxi-EP Illmindmuzik, Andsoitsaid. There’s the Madlib factor; a dominant, if not strong selling point of this LP. Producing 23 of the exasperating 30 tracks (Kankick and Oh No, schooled in “Libology”, handle the rest) proves defining if not show-stealing, and while ‘Lib’s got beats for days, the pairing atop Declaime’s slothful drawl loses its charm or at least luster somewhere around the 50 minute mark (it’s a 70 + minute endeavor). For lack of a better word, Madlib makes ‘blunted’ beats; Declaime sounds pretty blunted throughout, so the marriage is prominent, yet struggles as it wears with time, though it were one born through convenience. Andsoitsaid is solid yet difficult to wade through.

Just put it on and do your thing. This isn’t a thinking man’s album by any means. Let it waft in the air like the tree-smoke that created it. The more surreal the better as Declaime sounds best when most disjointed, a la “Reasons” or the subdued “Thankful”. It’s like stumblin’-style, pick up the mic at a house party type music. In a category all it’s own, but very reminiscent of his Stones Throw  brethren (Lootpack, Kazi, Medaphoar, all whom make appearances). An interesting album by a somewhat interesting artist, who next time might hopefully abide by the rule he claims to live by, “K.I.S.S.” You know the deal

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