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1 January, 2001@12:00 am

Is it me or has Def Jux just come in from nowhere and started flipping out product like flapjacks? Good to see El-P’s fledging label fire off from the launching pad with so much good material. While RJD2 isn’t about to touch the ill subliminals of Cannibal Ox, if you’ve liked the edgy, off-kilter styles that Def Jux has promoted through Mr. Lif, Cann Ox and Aesop Rock, this deserves a spin in that same rotation. “June” follows along the same kind of unconventional aesthetics – how else to describe a song where, after Copywrite’s intro 16 bars, everything goes instrumental for the next two minutes, only to bring Copywrite back to close. This ain’t no radio joint, that’s for sure. As you can probably already guess, it’s all fairly cerebral though Copywrite’s lyrics themselves are more pedestrian than the 12″s construction. Frankly, I wasn’t that impressed at what he had to say but RJD2′s track more or less bolsters what I’d consider to be an otherwise undistinguished cameo. Both the original and remix are intriguing though it takes a more studied ear to appreciate the nuances – this is no 2 bar loop being assembled. “The Proxy” is mis-listed on the track-listing, I think it’s actually B2, not B1 as noted. Cool listening – not quite as pieced together as “June”, but it’s short and sweet. – O-Dub

I know have dissed MHz’s earlier Fondle Em releases, but I may have to get check them again, because I’m quickly becoming a fan of the camp. While Copywrite’s earlier 12″ w/ Cage (“Tower Of Babble”) opened the doors for me, I really became sold on him after his verse on the Smut Peddlers album. But RJD2′s “June” (RJ being the producer for MhZ, Copywrite being the emcee), shows more progressive improvement from the crew, this perhaps being their best song yet. It’s fresh hearing Copywrite pour his heart out during the last moments of “June”, as well as in the first verse, expressing his immediate frustration with “sixteen-year old net heads buying garbage” (hey, not from us!), but the real treat is RJD2′s instrumentation. Ever evolving production with bookend verses from Copywrite make this one of the most unconventional hip-hop songs yet, but also one of the best indy hip-hop 12″ singles of the year. – Pizzo

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