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CD Review: Vice Verses

Native Blood (Cloudscraper)

The second album from the Kent-based hip-hop trio Vice Verses is all about "music as movement." So you'll find plenty of socially conscious rhymes here, as they take aim at consumer culture ("Back to the Basics") and the environment ("Drop One"). While the grooves are low-key, Vice Verses aren't a particularly subtle group — more Rage Against the Machine than Mos Def. The politics can be off-putting at times, but all three rappers are skilled rhymers, and the record's minimal production suits their style. The whimsical, Tribe Called Quest-style "Catharsis" is all about taking comfort in life's simple pleasures. It's one of Native Blood's best cuts, mainly because it steers clear of the other songs' blatant preaching. — Jeff Niesel

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