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Economic Food Chain Music

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Album Review

On his second solo album, California-based rapper LMNO (it stands for Leave My Name Out, also the title of his 2001 debut) delivers more ideas per minute than a lot of mainstream rappers, and is as passionate about progressive politics as the average Pacifica Radio host. And, encouragingly, his beats have improved considerably since his samey debut. "1888," produced by Discreet Merchants, is a highly enjoyable barrage of old-school synth sounds and orchestral stabs that occasionally hit pure atonality, and "(More) Pawn (Than) Don" and "Thankster Boogie," both courtesy of Ohno the Disruptor, turn cut-up phrases and deliberately mismatched beats into a crazy-quilt groove that shouldn't work but do. The problem, as on Leave My Name Out, is that LMNO is an indifferent rapper at best, and at times, a genuinely awful one. "1888" ruins its entertaining musical setting with an awkwardly phrased, painfully stilted flow of lazy rhymes. LMNO could undoubtedly write a thoughtful and entertaining blog, but as a musician, not so much.


Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Born James Kelly, rapper LMNO grew up in Long Beach, CA, as part of the surf and skate scene. There was also a thriving underground hip-hop scene in southern California, which inspired the budding musician to begin crafting his own demo tapes. The hard work paid off, eventually netting LMNO a verse on "B.F. Sound Check," a track from Circle of Power's 1993 self-titled album. However, his true break arrived in 1995, when friends Key-Kool and DJ Rhettmatic released Kozmonautz — not only setting...
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Economic Food Chain Music, LMNO
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