14 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

One of Wu-Tang Clan's greatest emcees, Inspectah Deck is universally beloved by fans, but he's always had bad luck with his solo albums. 7L & Esoteric helped put Boston on the indie-rap map back in the '90s, and they've been steadily releasing quality (if under-the-radar) material ever since. They hooked up in 1999 for the exceptional Speaking Real Words EP and reunite here for a 14-track concept album tied together by old-school comic record samples (think MF DOOM's Operation: Doomsday and Ghostface's Iron Man). As usual, the Rebel INS more than delivers on the mic: he rocks wordy, witty verses that perfectly complement Eso's. 7L consistently impresses with outstanding production that overflows with head-banging drums, freaky samples, and new takes on several classic golden-era loops. Guests include Ghostface, Roc Marciano, Oh No, Action Bronson, Cappadonna, Mr. MFN Exquire, and Vinnie Paz. "Savagely Attack," "It's Raw," and "Poisonous Thoughts" are standouts.

EDITORS’ NOTES

One of Wu-Tang Clan's greatest emcees, Inspectah Deck is universally beloved by fans, but he's always had bad luck with his solo albums. 7L & Esoteric helped put Boston on the indie-rap map back in the '90s, and they've been steadily releasing quality (if under-the-radar) material ever since. They hooked up in 1999 for the exceptional Speaking Real Words EP and reunite here for a 14-track concept album tied together by old-school comic record samples (think MF DOOM's Operation: Doomsday and Ghostface's Iron Man). As usual, the Rebel INS more than delivers on the mic: he rocks wordy, witty verses that perfectly complement Eso's. 7L consistently impresses with outstanding production that overflows with head-banging drums, freaky samples, and new takes on several classic golden-era loops. Guests include Ghostface, Roc Marciano, Oh No, Action Bronson, Cappadonna, Mr. MFN Exquire, and Vinnie Paz. "Savagely Attack," "It's Raw," and "Poisonous Thoughts" are standouts.

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