Blackalicious, the duo of
rapper Gift of Gab (Tim Parker) and producer Chief Xcel (Xavier Mosley),
formed at the University of California at Davis (near Sacramento),
established a lyrical and nostalgic hip-hop style with the
Eps Melodica (1995) and A2G (1999)
and the album Nia (2000), that reprises the latter EP and contained
It was followed by the slick but vastly inferior Blazing Arrow (2002),
mainly because the emphasis was on Gift of Gab's lyrics instead of the sound.
Gift of Gab's first solo album Fourth Dimensional Rocketships Going Up (2004) is erudite and
Blackalicious' The Craft (2005) was a decent return to form, with a
strong funk-rock influence, an increase use of live instrumentation,
the bouncy Powers, the propulsive Egosonic War Drums,
the adventurous Side to Side, the
melodrama Black Diamonds and Pearls.
Gift Of Gab's Escape 2 Mars (2009) is a disappointing work, despite
the instrumental spleen of producer Dnae Beats.
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