Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Music in Brief

As its members are probably sick of explaining by now, Tanya Morgan isn't an R&B singer or a female rapper, but rather an all-male rap trio with a laid-back sound, an ingratiatingly mellow vibe, and a charming debut in Moonlighting (Loud Minority). Sonically and lyrically, the group resembles Little Brother's little brother, which is fitting, since standout Von Pea scored his biggest underground exposure courtesy of a solo showcase on Foreign Exchange's Connected, the acclaimed side-project debut of Little Brother's Phonte Coleman… B

Incorrigible smartasses J-Zone and Celph Titled have elevated being obnoxious to an art form. Now they've united Voltron-style to form The Boss Hog Barbarians (Mt. Kill-A-Hog/Hog Cabin Ent), a super-ignorant indie-rap supergroup pairing J-Zone's cheapskate misogynist routine with Celph Titled's over-the-top parody of gonzo gangsta bloodlust. Every Hog Has Its Day, the duo's debut, should please fans of both acts without blowing either camp away. It's consistent fun and good for a few mean-spirited chuckles, but neither performer ventures outside his comfort zone of zany punchlines and comic misanthropy. J-Zone's production, while solid, is a far cry from the kinetic Technicolor genius of his beats on Pimps Don't Pay Taxes… B


J-Zone and Celph Titled may be committed to making music with no redeeming social facets whatsoever, but Titled's Demigodz affiliate Apathy proves it's possible to combine irreverent humor with social consciousness on his intensely personal new album, Eastern Philosophy (Babygrande). Apathy's nice with the punchlines and not averse to comic boorishness, but unlike so many of his peers, he doesn't feel the need to reduce himself to a cartoon character to win laughs… B+

Edgar Allen Floe triumphed with the powerful True School anthem "The Righteous Way To Go," a transcendent mission statement that's one of The Justus League's defining moments. But Floe's True Links EP failed to live up to expectations, generating one-song-wonder talk. Floe's latest release, Floe Almighty (Shaman Work), marks a big step up from True Links, but damned if it's best track isn't an extremely faithful remix of "The Righteous Way To Go," courtesy of original producer 9th Wonder. Floe's flow is stiff and simple, but the beats are soulful and elegant, and the album benefits from a brisk running time and a clear sense of purpose… B-

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