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19 April, 2007@12:00 am

    The Windy City has become the land of many emcees. From the Common’s and Kanye’s, to the Twista’s and Do or Die’s, all the way down to the Vakill’s and Molemen, Chi-town has constantly made their presence felt through every facet of Hip Hop. Capital D (one half of All Natural) is one of those Chicago emcees that has been bubbling for quite some time. Relying on what can be termed as “true school” hip-hop with no gimmicks has been Cap’s calling card. From No Additives, No Preservatives to the Molemen collabo, Writer’s Block, Cap has always been consistent. Can he keep it up with his latest release, Return of the Renegade.

   “Destiny” features a scathing verse from Chi-town alum Rhymefest, while One Be Lo shows out on “The Answer”. Both guest appearances accentuate the potency of the album. Elsewhere, Iomas Morad and Cap pass the mic on “Nickel & Dime”. But it’s not like Cap can’t be his own man, as he roughs up the mic on quite a few cuts like “Blow” and the Far East flavored title track.
The production is yet another feather in the cap for Capital D. With a list of producers that includes  himself, J Rawls, Maker and others, Return of the Renegade is filled with solid production.

     “Rock Me” shines with a sparse key arrangement, behind some booming drums as the vocal sample belts out “Rock Me”. “Bright Lights” also illuminates with its vocal sample reversed providing the backdrop for Cap to punch in some potent lyrics that speak on the state of affairs of hip hop today (i.e. “Radio is just jiggy/and it’s just 50/but its cool though/at least it ain’t Diddy”)

   If there is something to nitpick on with Return of the Renegade it would be that sameness of D’s flow. Not that he’s wack by any stretch of the imagination, but he won’t get many style points from those who are interested in cats like Jeezy and Weezy. His monotone style still has a flicker of old school attached to it but in this day and age of emcees, that just may not do. Return of the Renegade ends up becoming yet another notch under the belt for Capital D. Solid production, solid lyrics make this an album worth getting. Too bad that this generation of hip-hop kids would prefer their hip-hop a little more radio friendly than what Cap D has to offer.

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