RJD2's two-track production cameo on Aceyalone's 2003 album Love & Hate stood among that disc's high points. Fans have plenty of reason to be geeked for a full-length collab. But while Magnificent City's peaks are as good as expected -- the Carter-admin gloss-funk of "Fire," and the gritty Hammond B-3 swing of "Disconnected" -- it also features both MC and producer at their most uneven, and RJ isn't served well doing mimeographed quasi-RZA ("Caged Bird") or goofball pseudo-crunk straight from the '68-model Moog of Dick Hyman ("Mooore"). Despite his accessibility, Aceyalone stumbles, too; it's one thing to shun the dense logorrhea of modern-day indie rap, but it's another to drop verses like "I want to love you, 'cause that's my duty/It's not your booty, it's not your beauty" ("Supahero").
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