15 May, 2012@5:53 am
Boasting a career that spans over two decades, Showbiz and A.G. are the post-Guru answer to Gang Starr – a seminal New York duo that has never lost it’s vision. As DJ Premier re-introduces them on this “free-album-before-the-album”, the two have settled in a natural vibe. From the sound of Mugshot Music: Pre-Loaded – a mellowed-out, almost hypnotic combination of A.G.’s observational rhyme style and Show’s crate-dug beats – it’s hard to believe this is the same crew that delivered us party-grooves like “Soul Clap” and “Bounce Ta This” some twenty-years ago.
Even a different direction than their seminal Full Scale EP, the sound of Pre-Loaded isn’t quite as abrasive, but still finds a settled-in sound for the longtime duo. Tracks like the racially-driven “That N***a Crazy”, “My Imagination”, or the harmonic “I Just Go Along” find Show taking a very laid back approach to his production, while A.G. effortlessly blends right in with his longtime partner’s beats. Meanwhile, tracks like the darker “God Is 4 Us”, “Suspended Animation”, and “Here and Now” resurrect that classic, edgier sound of their past that began in the Goodfellas era.
While we’ve seen the crew reunite several times – not to mention a few less than stellar solo projects – it seems with Pre-Loaded, they realize just how much they need one another. On “Show & A”, Andre The Giant comes to terms with the fact that his fans only want to see him on Showbiz beats, while “The Bond” examines just how many classic crews have broken up over the years. With “The Bond” being the last song, it almost suggests that Showbiz and A.G. will record together as long as they live.
For a duo that takes extended breaks between projects, remarkably they reunite each time as if they never missed a step. Amazingly, this isn’t even their album, as Pre-Loaded is pretty much a collection of scraps that didn’t make the upcoming LP Mugshot Music. If this is what they chose to give away, we can’t wait to see what the actual album has to offer.
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