Moving from the underground to the overground is difficult in any musical genre, but especially in hip-hop, a populist medium whose participants generally look with suspicion upon artists who seem more comfortable with creativity than with cashing in. Such was the reputation of Dilated Peoples (on tour with Aceyalone, The Alchemist and 88-Keys), even though tracks laid down by group leaders Evidence and DJ Babu were always more accessible than advertised. For that reason, the pair paid dues for the better part of a decade before finally signing to a major label, Capitol — and while the imprint stuck with them through four albums, from 2000's The Platform to 2006's 20/20, none of the discs broke the bank. The Release Party, a DVD/CD combo issued last year by Decon Media, symbolically ended this period, leaving Evidence and DJ Babu back where they started, commercially speaking. Artistically, however, they're undoubtedly in a better place, and to them, that's what matters most.
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