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Pigeon John

As evidenced by his last two albums -- Pigeon John Dates Your Girlfriend and Pigeon John Sings the Blues! -- Pigeon John is the kind of guy who talks about himself in the third person. Narcissism is not an unusual trait for a rapper -- heck, Eminem's entire career is based on his ability to turn nearly every song into a mini-bio. The difference between the blond bombshell and the birdman, however, lies in the delivery. Pigeon John doesn't whine and dine listeners; his life stories are crafted with a romantic affection that's less a confessional than a two-way conversation. But he's not a sap, either. The Los Angeles-based underground wonder understands the delicacy of wordplay and makes it palatable, even when it's some ridiculous tale about a goat named Sam doing coke in the back of a bus. (That's a metaphor, right?) This voracious appetite for lyrical pleasantness is what makes this sort of self-reflection in experimental hip-pop look so damned good.