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1 January, 2002@12:00 am

Fresh after wooing heads with his solo debut, production wunderkind RJD2 teams up with emcee partner Blueprint, blessing us with a 6 song appetizer for their upcoming full-length release 8 Million Stories, due out this fall. For those that don’t know, RJD2 is quickly becoming the underground’s leading producer, after showing and proving the last few years with his own MHz (MegaHertz) camp, as well as both Def Jux and Eastern Conference posses. Meanwhile, Blueprint (an incredibly dope producer in his own right), represents with the Weightless camp, most recently getting dap for his work on Illogic’s Got Lyrics LP. If all this sounds Greek to you, start here and move backwards - you’re missing out!

What separates this from RJD2′s Dead Ringer, obviously, is that this is a traditional hip-hop record, rather than pure instrumentals. But at just 6 tracks, it shows the diversity of RJ’s production skills and style, setting us up nicely for the EP. And not to let Blueprint get overshadowed, while he’s not Rakim (yet), he’s definitely a nice emcee, packing a humor, wit, insight, and enough deeply rooted soul to affirm his position.

“Unlimited” starts things off nicely, introducing us to the concept of The Soul Position, but the real meat of the EP is in the middle. “Mic Control” plays beautifully with RJ’s rolling pianos and lost & found vocal samples, while Blueprint gets condescending with rival emcees. With “Night To Remember”, the duo also pulls off a strong track “for everyone to dance to”, with a phat little loop that RJ builds off of with trademark beeps and a flavorful horn section, while Blueprint tells two entertaining stories, departing from the usual club drivel. “Take Your Time” is another well crafted joint, as Blueprint delivers battle-raps in the disguise of advice, over yet another wonderful RJ track, composed of a few layers of gorgeous, somber samples. And as a bonus, we get the solo instrumental “Oxford You Really Owe Me”.

Now here’s the clincher, while this EP deserves placement between other classic EP’s from Jurassic 5, Beatnuts, Siah & Yeshua Da Poed, Show & AG, and others, it’s only a snack before the main course. So if this EP is made up of the tracks that didn’t make the full-length, 8 Million Stories, just imagine what they’ve got in store for us. Like whoa. Do yourself a favor and grab this EP, even if you haven’t peeped these cats on anything else yet. Mark our words, 20 minutes later you’ll be asking for more.

  Mixtape D.L.
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