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Inconegro
Keepin' it Lovely
Doxa/Tuba!

During the 90's there were a Philadelphia hip-hop collective named the Goats. Among their releases was an album called Tricks Of The Shade (1992). The Goats called it quits in 1997, and out the ashes came a 3-headed new outfit named Inconegro. Inconegro serves heavy-beat, but also laidback and lightfooted soul-funked rap. Beastie Boys meets De La Soul. Yo!

Keepin' it lovely is a re (for Europe) of their eponymously titled 1999 album, with some remakes/remixes plus an extra track. Inconegro are frontman/lyricst MC Uh-Oh (a.k.a. Maxx Stoyanoff-Williams), producer DJ Smoove, keyboardist and sampler Gungi Brain (a.k.a. Mark Boyce, who also plays with NYC's blues-punksters Boss Hog), plus drummer Chuck Treece, and some other additional musicians: bassist J. Elberson, scratcher Will Braveman, and Aja, Sasha Couch and Lauren Firtzche on backing vocals. The record starts with the title track, a bit of a soft, jazzy opening. Then comes the tougher Shotgun Shack, with a hairy guitar, fuzzy rapping, and with lines like "I'll take the African Express credit card!". Lyrically Inconegro seem to continue the left-wing, socio-political concern they're said to be dealing with as the Goats, keeping a certain distance to the SEXplicit "lyrical" world of many a contemporary rap posse. The song Brand New Caddy is the Clash's rocker off London Calling reformatted and revisionized. Quite cool. Bartender (the new song), with its excellent, lively keyboard ('the fabulous Bass and keyboards of Talor "Tay-Dog" Cutcomb'), and tight rhythm section, is one of the best songs on the album. A seriously good barfly. A strenght to many of the songs is the live feel made by the use of real instruments. Inconegro rock and stroll, flip and turn within their songs. There are two versions of Philly, one of the rawest tracks on the record. The remake is quite 'rock music', and, well, I must say I prefer the original.

All this said, some songs sound a bit the same, even though the drums and bass, and guitars, ignite the spirit most of the way. Inconegro don't have the creative "insanity" like, say Outkast have got. Nevertheless, they do have quite some sophisticated creations, such as Big Man, Sunny Days (way cool singing), and Last Call (brilliant intro). Not to forget the closing track, Can You Feel It, which is a funny cover version (sampled from Comes Alive) of Peter Frampton's Do You Feel Like We Do?.

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