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9 May, 2004@12:00 am

    While contributing his fair share to the collective known as the Visionaries, LMNO (Leave My Name Out) has still managed to pursue his solo career. After delivering the line “Don’t fuck with LMNO, or I’ll send your demo tape to Jerry Heller” on Key Kool & DJ Rhettmatic’s ‘E=MC5″, James Kelly slowly made a name for himself. But instead of becoming shock line extraordinaire he swiftly shifted gears and spiritually matured. The change reflected in his music and thus his self titled debut was pretty well received. Now attempting to avoid the dreaded sophomore jinx, LMNO shapes up with his anticipated second album Economic Food Chain Music.

    With a solid production team in tow (Oh No, Key Kool, and Evidence, among others) Economic Food Chain Music is pretty solid from a production aspect.  Jumping it off is the moving production from Key Kool on the aptly titled “Damsel In Distress” where LMNO provides potent lyrics about the
always controversial aspects of our country. Evidence comes correct with his ever evolving sound on the thumping “LMNO”. OHNO’s “Hit” utilizes the theme of each line beginning with the word “Hit”, which LMNO takes full advantage of, working as one of the better tracks on the LP. The song’s smoothed out sound meshes well with LMNO’s ill tirades such as: “(Hit) the court for old times sake/(hit) a jump shot all in your face/(hit) puberty around ’83/(hit) the cut off man to hold the lead/(hit) eject is the last thing you want to.” While it’s rather short , it’s nonetheless potent. OHNO also strikes gold with the solid “Souvenir”. But where it all comes together is when DJ Rhettmatic’s rolling pianos combust into the beautiful “I-tinuous Blessings”, featuring Visionaries.

    From an emcee standpoint, LMNO resembles a less charismatic version of Evidence. Not to say he is a bad emcee by any means, but their voices do sound quite similar. Yet his monotone flow sometimes may lose the listener, and on some joints where the production doesn’t shine, it points to some of the faults in LMNO’s delivery. On “We Need You”, the hook is somewhat annoying and his style doesn’t fit well with the production. “1888″ is also a point where his style becomes a bit harder to swallow. Unless the listener has been a big fan of his for quite some time, at times it’s hard to digest 50+ minutes of strictly LMNO.

     Does LMNO avoid the sophomore jinx? Actually, he does, just enough to maneuver away from this horrible phrase. While Visionaries and LMNO fans will be quite ecstatic with the results of Economic Food Chain Music, new listeners may have to take a little more time to figure out his style. LMNO is an acquired taste, and Economic Food Chain Music is the perfect sampler plate to see if LMNO is going to fit on your hip-hop menu. Nonetheless, with minor glitches aside, Economic Food Chain Music can still be called a solid album.

  Mixtape D.L.
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