Local Wire

Dilated Peoples

There used to be a time when you could actually mention Dilated Peoples and Black Eyed Peas in the same sentence, given that they both came up in the subterranean Los Angeles hip-hop scene in the late '90s and once shared a similar funk-soul sampling, old-school scratching and beatmaking, Golden Age conscious-lyric-writing aesthetic. But while the Peas have morphed into retardo-pop Best Buy shills who play any halftime show they can find when they're not urinating on themselves onstage (please Image Google "Fergie" and "piss" if you haven't done so already), the Peoples trio of MCs Rakaa and Evidence and DJ Babu has retained both its dignity and its artistic, occasionally hard-hitting grooves and hard-spat flow across four releases for Capitol since 2000, the latest being 20/20. Not that DP would likely object to a crossover hit or two -- 20/20's "Kindness For Weakness" (featuring Talib Kweli) and "Firepower" (featuring dancehall-reggae icon Capleton) could fit the bill -- but the threesome remains firmly planted in the underground.
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Michael Alan Goldberg