Cut My Teeth
To use a jazz term, Dilated Peoples were always "in the pocket." They didn't dazzle with exemplary hooks, but they knew how to make a good beat within the sometimes constricting aesthetic of turn-of-the-century true-school hip-hop. On their first album in eight years, Evidence, Rakaa and DJ Babu reunite for another platter of savory meat and potatoes. DJ Premier produces "Good as Gone," "L.A. River Drive" flips a chipmunk soul sample, "The Dark Room" and "The Reversal" will fulfill your head-nod factor, and "Figure It Out" mixes screw tropes with a dash of LL Cool J's "Goin' Back to Cali."