Arcane

Given the insular nature of revivalist hip-hop, Arcane (meaning known only to the initiate) is an apt name for a fledgling crew. These four white guys from New Jersey defend hip-hop’s honor with valor, though the less than smooth lyricists flow like the sputtering nozzle of a knotted hose. Timmy Grins, Malprak and JB earn points by avoiding the rap-only-about-rap trap that ensnares many of their underground peers. DJ JE gives this old-school act its cutting edge, slicing and dicing his way through stacks of wax. Though it drops social science on “For Fathers That Bothered,” Arcane comes closer to License to Ill-era Beastie Boys than the politically minded, post-enlightenment version; the song “Bush” refers to pubic hair, not the commander in chief.

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