New Jersey's Outsidaz brings a much-needed bit of perspective to East Coast hip-hop with its pared-down percussive beats and spitting, battle-style delivery. The MC collective never gets into the "yeaah yeaah" sameness of their East Coast brethren, but instead reignites primal hip-hop fury in all its hungry, gory glory.
"Don't Look Now" rewires an action-series theme for its beat, while MCs trade verses about blowing up and showing up on magazine covers, sounding more like they're daydreaming out loud than just boasting and toasting. Eminem even pipes up on "Rush Ya Clique," which pays homage to Kool Keith with the "Dr. Octagon" chorus of "Night Life."
Smart enough to make tracks that can get on the radio, but good enough that that's not all they're for, Outsidaz is a bitch-slap to the face of all that sing-sing, bling-bling sameness.