Music News

Gift of Gab

Gift of Gab's debut solo disc, 4th Dimensional Rocket Ships Going Up, is impressive. Gab, who is best known as one half of the Bay Area-based rap group Blackalicious, doesn't stray far from his crew's oeuvre on the new record, however, which begs the question: What's the point of a solo joint? The query becomes moot upon listening to Gab's underrated lyrical skills on tracks like "Flashback," where he reminisces about growing up in the '80s when hip-hop infiltrated every aspect of life. Longtime Blackalicious fans might miss Chief Xcel's production, but the soulful sounds produced by Seattle beat junkies Vitamin D and Jake One mesh well with Gab's flow. The combination is seamless on cuts like "In a Minute Doe," Gab's heartfelt tribute to his incarcerated nephew, and the Far East-tinged "Way of the Light," which provides the spiritual nourishment we've come to expect from Gab. The MC's polysyllabic rhymes and sung choruses merge like a collision between Gil Scott-Heron and E-40. So until Blackalicious launches its next mothership, fans won't mind being caught in Gab's orbit.