Record label: Rawkus
Format: 2xLP/CD
Release date: 8 May 2001

Tony Cottrell is about to seriously blow up. I’m talkin’ Tribe releasing Midnight Marauders after Low End Theory type of blowin’ up. After solid work behind the boards for the Reflection Eternal album, this ‘Nati native comes with his solo LP, which is released at just the right time. This is prime for the summer: laidback and sunny the whole way through...well, almost. Plenty of guest spots, of course: Common & Vinia Mojica are in the pocket on “The Sun God,” and Mos Def shares a track with Vinia also. “Git to Steppin’” has that sing-song thing goin’ on (haters, start your engines...) reminiscent of “Climb,” but more lighthearted and funky. “Suddenly” is my joint, though - Mood comes off on that. “Round and Round” is already stormin’ power radio airwaves with R&B vocalist Jonell doin’ her thing over Hi-Tek’s lazy shoulder-hunching rhythms. She also rocks the chorus on “All I Need Is You” while Cormega gets grimy on the verses - thug love will soon follow. And as we all know, that can get you mad far in the rap game these days. Also working in Hi-Tek’s favor: Talib Kweli gettin’ nice on “Get Back Pt. 2,” Slum Village doin’ the freak nasty on “L.T.A.H.”, and Buckshot making an appearance on “The Illest It Gets” (he didn’t always sound this venomous, did he?). For real, though: lyrically it’s hit and miss. Let’s not forget the real reason we’re here: Hi-Tek’s on-point production skills. Best believe DJs worldwide will be sweatin’ Rawkus to drop that instrumental version.

{vic feedle}

back to OTV reviews page
back to reviews home