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by
12 May, 2003@12:00 am
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It was since 2000 that emcees Prozack Turner, Marc Stretch and DJ Design dropped their debut, Kidnapper Van: Beats to Rock Whilst Bike Stealin’, one of those street-corner, free-spirited LP’s that took them on tours around the U.S. and overseas. Foreign Legion return with Playtight, a continuation of their focused efforts to demonstrate how goofy, silly and ‘playful’ they get down. DJ Design programmed these beefy beats to strip-off any thoughts of tension or negativity, two entities Foreign Legion never allow the listener to endorse once you press ‘play’! If you?re into those thugged-out jams, make a detour as well because these near sixty minutes of fun-filled, bouncy breaks with rhymes of comedy are not for the hardcore frowners, nor the inactive that comfortably gape. Take the jubilation felt from that last exam before you exit campus for the summertime and guzzle this until FL becomes your hangover. They’re throwing a party for you, and there’s no telling who’s invited or what?s about to occur.

Kicking off the CD is “Here We Go Again”, fueling a somewhat light-hearted chorus hook. The aim on this opener for their second wind effort, is to merely reintroduce fans and let newcomers know that they’re entering at their own risk, all the while outlining what they’ve been up to on their 2-year hiatus and what they’ll never change about themselves. As you move along into this record, it isn’t hard to get right into, especially as the first musical note off “Feel the Music” packs a flute-inflamed loop to make you start bumping shoulder to shoulder at the bar. Yes – that funk, soul and swing all come together on this infectious cut, while FL’s naughty lyrics invite that vice in you to unravel and fully express. Even though some like “Nasty Lady” or “Happy Drunk” miss the mark on pushing the party into the wee hours of the morning, “Champagne Beamin’” featuring Maryam picks up the slack and definitely gets the crown for ‘club-banger of the album’. Not at all losing its genuine hip hop feel, DJ Design somehow even finds the right technique using Maryam’s distinctive high-pitched hook to give it an old school flavor. They take a time-out from the partying on “How Do it Feel” to quickly expose their intelligence of life’s reality as an emcee. Over that deep and reflective groove most emcees on the underground favor, DJ Design’s violin rain shower drenches this track. Rakim’s vocals get sampled throughout the chorus, when the lines by Prozack and Stretch provide the ultimate emcees’ anthem: “Living life to the beat/Trying to eat and stay off the street/Living one beat at a time - HOW DO IT FEEL - living in rhyme!”

As their sophomore year comes to a close, FL get back to those defining moments that make the photomural on the refrigerator look so festive. Through their title track, and wilding out and bum rushing the scene on “Party Crashers”, FL’s acting a fool again. This time, the ludicrous creativity closes the college semester perfectly on “Roommate Joint”, where Prozack and Marc Stretch, as actors, exemplify the disgusting habits most roommates have, leading to inevitable feuding. Through witty rhymes and obvious emotions similar to Eminem’s customary ventures, guess who’s first to step up to the microphone:

“Blockbuster called, said you rented ‘Billy Madison’, let you use my card, said you wouldn’t let me get a late fee! / Maaaan, I didn’t even watch it… / Fuck that, pay me! / Well, let me grab my check book / Naaah, you better pay me Cash! / What?!?”/ You need to get a job, with your lazy ass!”

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