Local Wire

The Mighty Underdogs

The term "hip hop supergroup" gets thrown around a lot, but Bay Area outfit The Mighty Underdogs can make a pretty good case. Composed of MCs Gift of Gab (from Blackalicious) and Lateef the Truthspeaker (of Latyrx), and backed by producer Headnodic (of Crown City Rockers), the group just released their full-length debut, Droppin' Science Fiction, on Definitive Jux. Droppin' Science Fiction enlists a bevy of underground heavy hitters, including MF Doom, DJ Shadow, Jurassic 5's Chali 2na, and Damian and Julian Marley. Though the songs venture everywhere from outer space to tropical islands to gunfights, the album title is, perhaps, a bit misleading. The CD feels more Golden Era-throwback than futuristic, especially when compared to Kanye West and TV on the Radio's recent output. Still, on its best tracks, the group gets goofy. "Love Life Soundtrack," off the The Prelude EP from last year and featuring Ladybug Mecca from Digable Planets, has a Midnite Vultures flavor. There's little doubt, in any case, that their shtick translates better to stage than to record; show attendees tend to speak in superlatives. Expect the group to have fun showing off its old-school lyricist skills in concert and, who knows, maybe some unexpected guests.