The Other Poets

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This debut CD from Sacramento hip-hop duo T.O.P. (The Other Poets) takes poetic license with its presentation of hip-hop music through a hodgepodge of repurposed pop-culture artifacts. It is flooded with myriad hip-hop sound bites (from Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew to Audio 2). Jazzy melodies mixed with disco/funk percussion combine with choruses via well-known verses from Chuck D, Plug 1 and Q-Tip. Prozak Morris produced the album using beat samples from all over including the Spyhunter video game, Experience Unlimited’s late-’80s semi-hit “Da Butt” and even from Barry White! His Imani-pitched vocals and deliberately frenetic rhyme style will no doubt remind hip-hoppers of The Pharcyde emcee, while his not-so-subtle use of classic hip-hop one-liners show off his innate knowledge of the music’s history. Random Abiladeze demonstrates his moniker, switching rhyme styles between a Kurtis Blow-esque flow on “Revenge of the MC” to his natural cadence that, at times, sounds like Raashan Ahmad of Crown City Rockers. Prozak and Random have crafted a deliberate cross-section of musical influences in this record that is truly hip-hop in its purest sense. The duo keeps the album light-hearted with comic relief provided by guests Rusty Buttcheeks and Coach Girabaldi, among random others.