Common, the Beatnuts and DITC have all collaborated with the X-ecutioners on album production. X-pressions, the first full-length turntablist LP, dropped in 1997, and each member continues to release solo projects, including Rob Swift's essential-to-the-crates break record Soulful Fruit. Their second LP is due this year.
The co-headliners pull their weight as well. As part of the umbrella Hieroglyphics crew from Oakland, Calif., the Souls of Mischief (Tajai, Opio, A-Plus and Phesto Dee), known for their verbal acrobatics, display a delicate balance of street cred and intellect on their instant-classic debut album, 93 'til Infinity, and hold court with a backdrop of thumping bass lines and butter-jazz loops. The Souls most often address the fiction many rappers bring to the mic, keeping it strictly about rhymes and vocab. The Souls' third album (after a five-year hiatus), Trilogy: Conflict, Climax, Resolution, was released last week. Pep Love and Bukue One, also of Hieroglyphics fame, are on the bill as well.
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