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Rhymefest, ‘El Che’ (dN Be)

The table was set for Rhymefest in 2006: He’d won a Grammy for writing “Jesus Walks” and had a Kanye-approved major-label debut filled with smart, funny rhymes and big-money beats from guys like Mark Ronson and Just Blaze. The album tanked, though, and after years in limbo, the follow-up surfaces via an indie. ‘Fest is suitably pissed about all this, but it’s only sharpened his edges. On “Talk My Shit” and the hilarious “Truth on You,” bitter jabs are never far from self-deprecating punch lines, and the beats — while likely less expensive — are still brash and booming.