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Living Legends

Independence: Some die for it. Others just rap about it. Living Legends fall into the latter category -- though the longstanding Bay-Area crew would have you believe that its staunchly indie ideal is noble enough to boast about in every other verse. Classic continues the tradition of sparse beats and...
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Independence: Some die for it. Others just rap about it. Living Legends fall into the latter category -- though the longstanding Bay-Area crew would have you believe that its staunchly indie ideal is noble enough to boast about in every other verse. Classic continues the tradition of sparse beats and relay-race flow, augmented by a grip of guest producers (most notably Madlib, who sticks a jittery dancehall backbone into "Blast Your Radio"). And while this move enhances the Grouch's signature slinky pulse, most tracks here tread the fine line between laid-back and lazy. The MCs cite such played pop-cultural punchlines as Thundercats and trucker hats, and fader precision has bled most of the group's blunt rawness and fetish for static out of it. The Legends have proudly released their own music for a decade; but today, with some of the most vital rap coming out on major labels, the collective needs to step up, stop patting itself on the back and deliver a disc that exploits true independence rather than just bragging about it.
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