Blackalicious

The Craft

Epitaph

The Cali duo Blackalicious, never one to shy away from some genre-challenging experimentation, is at it again with The Craft. Frontman Gift of Gab, fresh off last year's solo effort, is back with his De La Sol-esque positive lyrics. And he lets us hear them this time around — Gab rarely relies on his crutch, the rapid-fire delivery that got heads nodding on previous Blackalicious efforts A2G (1999), NIA (2000) and Blazing Arrow (2002). Producer Xcel also shines, blending heavy funk and cozy piano beats that most of the time work beautifully.