Local Wire

Felt

Two lyrical heroes of indie hip-hop team up to pay tribute to everyone's favorite Cosby Show castoff, Lisa Bonet. Well, actually, Slug and Murs' sweet memories of Denise Huxtable play only a minor role in the duo's stories about the opposite sex. Felt Vol. 2 pops off with the picked guitar funk of "Employees of the Year," and the duo sounds as natural swapping stanzas as Joe and Darryl Mac. Slug's open-wound urgency provides a nice balance to Murs' effortless Cali-cool, and the combination might be best described by Slug himself: "Old school/Somewhere between Pro Tools and a gold tooth." The rhymes and flavor come from a world of mid-'80s pre-crack-era rap, landing squarely between beat digger grit and West Coast bounce as Ice-T, Licensed to Ill, Chaka Khan, and Roger Troutman all get a nod. Ant, Slug's DJ partner in underground hip-hop group Atmosphere, hits the mark as producer with the galactic funk of "Your Mans and Them," the speeded-up sample joint "Dirty Girl," and the Bomb Squad-inspired banger "Gangster Ass Anthony." We love you, Ms. Bonet, but the raw funk of Felt 2 comes off more like Angel Heart than The Cosby Show.
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Jeff Wade