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Pitch Black Law

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Album Review

In rap's ever-widening spectrum Pitch Black are right in the center. They're straight-up hip-hop — sometimes to a fault — and while they don't embarrass themselves lyrically, they'll never be accused of being revolutionary. Their style is classic, simple, and the reason why producers are most responsible for the successes and failures on Pitch Black Law — an album with more highlights than usual, and some filler — is that it's just plain dull. With DJ Premier at the controls, Pitch Black's adequate skills fit just right. The rhymes don't get in the way of Premier's loopy string samples on "It's All Real," an exciting kick-off single that paints the album as much more necessary than it really is. Teddy Riley shoots for the mainstream on both of his tracks, weakening the crew's punch on "My Life" but recovering with "Geechy"'s infectious, shuffling party-beats. After hearing Premier and Riley do their thing, tracks from Swizz Beatz, Amar Pep, and the crew's in-house production team aren't nearly as exciting. The guest spots are few, with Foxy Brown spitting out some vicious rhymes on "Got It Locked" — another winner from Premier — while "R You Ready 4 This" adds another useless Busta Rhymes appearance to the pile. Considering it took Pitch Black ten years to get to their debut, it's easy to imagine that being overly ambitious got in the way of delivering an album that was more even. If they devote as much energy to keeping it fresh as they do to keeping it real, they'll likely deliver a classic. Still, they back up their true hip-hop stance with solid rhymes, and there's enough promise on Pitch Black Law to keep them on your "watch" list. [Pitch Black Law was also released in a "clean" edition, containing no profanities or vulgarities].


Formed: 1994 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

After several other projects by each member (including programming on a Killing Joke record in 1994), ambient dub duo Pitch Black was formed in New Zealand in 1997 by Paddy Free and Michael Hodgson. Their debut album, Futureproof, was released in September 1999 and followed by Electronomicon in August 2000. Ape to Angel became...
Full Bio
Pitch Black Law, Pitch Black
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