There’s few adornments and no gimmicks to the ultra-comfortable stylings of Blackalicious; the Bay Area duo of MC Gift of Gab and DJ/Producer Chief Xcel simply composed some of the most original and diverse indie hip-hop to come out of the early-2000s. By the time their first full-length, NIA, came out on the trailblazing Quannum imprint in 2000, the twosome had already been building a cult following for nearly a decade and the familiarity bled out on a stunning debut. Gift of Gab’s rapid-fire, surprisingly smooth, and always witty flow blended perfectly with Xcel’s kitchen-sink production which seamlessly drew from soul jazz, punk, and many other styles. After a solid, if unexceptional, major label debut, Blackalicious slipped to Anti for 2005's hypnotic THE CRAFT.
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