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SHOCK G, Fear of a Mixed Planet, 33rd Street
Don't let the name on the cover fool you. Just because this is Shock G's solo debut, it doesn't mean he forgot about Digital Underground and the extended Oaktown family. Money B, Humpty Hump, Yukmouth, Knumskull and Ray-Luv all make appearances, and the dearly departed 2Pac is a frequent topic. In fact, Shock celebrates the fact that he's the MC with a smile and asks why copycats only mimic Pac's thug side. Digital Underground is this generation's Parliament and Shock G is unquestionably the captain of this mothership, lathering each record with different doses of funk, soul, jazz and the lost art of scratching. Even classical gets a look on "Perfect Life." "Your Sun iz a Pimp" closes the album on the same theme as Sons of the P, while "Wee Som Hustlas" is a D.U. reunion with an EPMD backdrop. The whole album is solid, but of course, Shock definitely leaves the rest of us behind once or twice and hits that higher plane. Track titles like "Cherry Flava'd E-mail," "Cinnamon Waves" and "Holmedown Up" might leave you scratching your head, but just wait until you get inside "The Rime in the Mochanut" and "We're All Killaz." Midway through the latter someone yells, "What the hell is going on?!" in the background. Exactly. Just sit back and let Shock take you on a funky ride.
Click here to listen to samples or buy this album.

-- Mason Storm

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