Aceyalone is a very busy man. This week (and hot on the heels of February's smoking RJD2 collaboration Magnificent City) comes an album of rarities and other stuff called Grand Imperial. Among the cuts are 3 RJD2 tracks that didn't make the album, a DJ Z-Trip collabo, a UK remix of Doin' My Job, and a live take of Annalillia that mashes up the raps with the beats and music from Michael Jackson's Billie Jean. I'm digging the title track, Grand Imperial. Produced by Kenny Segal (AKA Syndakit), it has some nice chunky beats, deliciously jazzy guitar loops and killer horns as well as a sharp rap from Acey.
Jel is the "head architect" for the indie hiphop label Anticon. His unique music and beats make him a much sought out producer. His latest solo LP Soft Money came out in February. It is absolutely fantastic. I am still playing it a couple of times a week, hooked on it's combination of crunk ass beats mixed with organic instrumentation (courtesy of Minneapolis' own Dosh & Andrew Broder AKA Fog) and electronic flavor on the Boards of Canada tip. It's also politically right up my alley, with titles like WMD, rants against G.W. and on To Buy A Car, an anticommercialism rap interlaced with snippets of commercials - the antidote to the Hummer commercial with the phat beats, yo. A great album (and some very nice cover art too...).