Soul Position

Things Go Better with RJ and Al

On their second full-length, Blueprint and RJD2 turn in a tighter performance than they did on 8 Million Stories. One of the group’s only deficiencies is that it doesn’t employ a singer to offer a reprieve from Blueprint’s deadpan delivery. RJ’s tuneful production, relying mostly on classic funk and soul vinyl, more than makes up for this on upbeat tracks like “I’m Free.” Fresh off his lauded collaboration with Aceyalone, RJ doesn’t miss a beat with his crisp drum sounds and creative use of samples. Blueprint is one of indie rap’s most underrated MCs, with stories that are always gritty and sad. His manifesto is heavy on freedom, and self-reliance, and the prowess of his crew as they fight “everything that sucks about music.” Yes: Soul Position is still champion.