These days, MCs often forsake flow and cadence for the sake of swagger. A study in the art, Topeka’s Stik Figa has got all three by the pound and dishes ’em out on The Skinny, mixed by Johnny Quest. Whether he’s reclaiming the Midwest’s double-time bounce on “Give That Back,” spitting laid-back verse over a lazy 808 on “Lookin’ Good” or talking big over a monolithic Miles Bonny track on “Figa of Speech,” the Top Town denizen’s skill is obvious. Stik’s Memphis roots come through in his drawl as he slaughters the mainstream-sounding beats of “King Kong” and “Dope Boy Fresh.” The album is supposed to come off like a mixtape but, thanks to Quest’s expertise, it’s as polished and coherent as any official release. Packing universal topics and a vast array of wordplay, Stik is truly a post-millennial MC, as attractive to the underground as he is to the streets.