- Gift of Gab
Producers Jake One and Vitamin D, surprisingly, are able to fill in for Blackalicious's singularly gifted Chief Xcel, approximating Nia's chill vibe on Gift of Gab's solo debut. 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up draws on funk to create tracks with more conventional hip-hop sound. Beats fall softly and keyboards float by, while bass lines roll from one speaker to the other. Gab keep his rhymes conscious and positive. And for once, a rhymer's life-affirming album notes match his lyrics. Dazzling delivery or no, it's not flashy; it's just good.