SOULS OF MISCHIEF – Sparks [Chocolate Industries/Ninja Tune]

If our last post seemed eerily fitting for Halloween (if a full two weeks early), we’re back from a brief hiatus with a similarly tenuous post-Fawlksian offering from early noughties indie hip hop project Urban Renewal Program.

Throwing together the (predominantly US, Def Jux-orientated) scene’s leftfielders with patchy results, this triple vinyl (or double CD for the hoi polloi) hits a high when Souls of Mischief – then enjoying something of a renaissance, serving up dependable team rhymes on the collabo’ circuit nearly a decade on from 93 ‘Til – meet RJD2 who was doing a pretty good turn as underground hip hop’s production Midas after Deadringer had rightfully made him a go to man for anything that needed a bit of brains with its brawn.

The fruits of their acquaintance stands alone on the compilation as a raucous best of both worlds with the deft raps of the Hieroglyphic alumni sloping insouciantly over and around RJ’s stabbing, rusty organ sample, circuit board sorcery and trademark syncopatic scratches.

That ‘Sparks’ was born of a side-show and never permeated anything like even the knowledgeable mainstream – combined with the fact that it is a great track with a great hook and a great lyric about being great  – make it a perfect secret weapon in the war against those of the lowest common denominator.

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