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Best of Boston 2009

Quite Nyce & Raydar Ellis | Champs vs. the League

Brick (2009)
By CHRIS FARAONE  |  April 6, 2009
3.5 3.5 Stars

Boston's very own Brick Records is generally good for at least one of each year's most grounded desert-island-worthy rap releases, and Champs vs. the League fills the bill.

For their debut collaboration, Quite Nyce (of RADIx renown) and Raydar Ellis (off the Short Bus and Berklee College alumni rosters) come genuinely positive without beating heads with cliché Afro-pick rhetoric and Muslimisms. As Ellis states in his insightful liner notes, the pair simply "chopped it up with some MCing. Nuff said."

On production, Ellis impresses even more than on his extraordinary 2006 debut, Late Pass, having found a comfortable spot on the drum-clacking side of the beat cafeteria near Hi-Tek and DJ Spinna. "Holla Bout a Dolla" is as fun as serious gets; love and life are negotiated on the memorable "Build Up" and "Broken Pieces."

The League's freshest moment — not a surprise when Project Move cats get involved — is "Love Is" featuring Anonymous and Moe Pope. That's hardly a stab at the album's two designated "champs" but rather a nod to how effectively Boston's mature black rap establishment has conspired to carry Native Tongue torches into the new millennium.
Related: The Big Hurt: Devil music, Various artists | Open Strings: 1920s Middle Eastern Recordings, Review: Waltz With Bashir, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Berklee College, Entertainment, Hi-Tek (Music Producer),  More more >
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