Skyzoo & Illmind, 'Live From the Tape Deck' (Duck Down)

Live From the Tape Deck
Critical Mass
Release Date: October 5, 2010
Label: Duck Down

by Mosi Reeves

"This is '86 Rakim with a Flip camera on," rhymes Brooklyn-born MC Skyzoo, who tosses out complex arrangements of syllables like Frisbees, while avoiding corny backpacker clichés. On this duo's debut full-length, he's nicely complemented by Illmind's production, which ranges from the Dilla-like soul loop of "#Allaboutthat" to the fuzzy '70s-cop-show funk of "The Now or Never." Live From the Tape Deck is full of stolid striver anthems; Skyzoo even bases a song on Lebron James' controversial "Decision" broadcast ("Winners Circle"). But the album's meat-and-potatoes consistency remains bracing throughout.

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