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Album Review

Like 1998's 3rd Eye Vision, Souls of Mischief's Focus was released on the Hieroglyphics own label. Unlike that well polished album, Focus has the feel of a series of unfinished demos. Rather than pass the mic among the group on each song, the four members, Phesto, A-Plus, Opio, and Tajai go it alone on the album's tracks. They meet with mixed success. The album veers between Tajai's shimmering, complex "Dues Pay" and Phesto's brittle, artificial "Way 2 Cold." Overall the album feels disjointed: Souls of Mischief nearly completely abandons the fluid lyricism of their first album, 93 'Til Infinity, opting instead for harsh, spare tracks. Dedicated fans of the Hieroglyphics will be interested, but other would be better off with the group's debut.


Formed: 1991 in Oakland, CA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

East Oakland's Souls of Mischief are members of the loose underground hip-hop consortium known as Hieroglyphics. The group consists of four erudite but hardcore MCs -- A-Plus, Phesto, Opio, and Tajai -- whose mindset combines chaos, danger, and the avant-garde, all from an intellectual B-Boy perspective. Their 1993 debut album, 93 'Til Infinity, produced an early-'90s anthem of the same name and spawned a movement toward bohemian yet rugged hip-hop. The crew drew comparisons to De La Soul and A Tribe...
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Top Albums and Songs by Souls of Mischief

Focus, Souls of Mischief
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