Music » Band of the Week

Mick Boogie and Little Brother

And Justus for All (www.MickBoogie.com)

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"Mixtapes . . . the labels is gonna have to adapt/Cause at the end of the day . . . people just wanna hear good music," declares an interlude called, reasonably enough, "The Purpose of Mixtapes." This collaboration between North Carolina indie hip-hop duo Little Brother and Cleveland DJ and mixtape king Mick Boogie backs up that assertion. Fresh off the controversial arrest of DJ Drama, the mixtape industry is in momentary turmoil. But Boogie has checkmated critics at both turns: The Commissioner and Little Brother have created a mixtape of almost entirely original material, and they're giving it away for free.

None of this would matter without the aforementioned "good music," but the 14-odd Little Brother cuts, packed with spectral vocal samples and typically sharp rhymes, suggest Phonte and Pooh will be just fine without recently departed producer 9th Wonder. Pooh also gets a handful of solo tracks; one of them, "Bring It On," is a haunting duet with Cleveland's Ray Cash. The industry might not like this brand of Justus, but mixtapes this solid will ensure they're here to stay.

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