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Aceyalone Magnificent City album cover

Arguably the best artist from LA's cutting edge super hip-hop group, Freestyle Fellowship, Aceyalone blows out his competition for '06 with his new album, Magnificent City. If you haven't heard of this project yet, let me be the first to introduce you to what might possibly become one of this year's best albums. Magnificent City is great not only because it is an album packed to the brim with Acey's knack for clever, conceptual and thought provoking lyrics, but also because it shows his business savvy by linking up with the golden gloves champion of independent hip-hop production, RJD2. Yeah, that's right, the same cat that produced Deadringer and Exotic Talk has leant his talents to Acey to create a sonically superb album.

If you are the type of listener who enjoys Acey spiting on top of heavenly horns and solid DJ slices, check the West Coast funkdafied production for "All For You." The beat is fat without being obese, thumping through the speakers with just the right amount of weight. Trust me, you don't have to have any worries about RJ's production overshadowing Acey's lyrics. If anything, this song shows how the two move together in perfect harmony. Imagine Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, and you will understand the perfect connection that Acey and RJ have.

Another song that was real nice is the synth heavy, cowbell smash "High Life." It's not just that I love weed, and so as a result I liked this song, but check out the way Acey puts all these strains of herb into his first verse " Bubble Kush / Cat Piss / Purple Rain / Hash Plant / Thai Stick / White Widow Wrecked The Train / Indoor / Outdoor / To The Brain / Orange / Brown / Red Hair / Green / The Potent Strains / Bongs / Blunts / Zig Zag's / Bubbler's / Bowl's / Blowing Out Of Big Bags / Twist Up / Roll Up / Pack Up / Hit That / Scent So Strong In The Air / Where You Get That?"

Is this shit wild or am I just a bit scorched in the brain? Either way, you be the judge. In my humble opinion Aceyalone has released yet another quality album that could easily find it's way onto radio - check the radio friendly single "Fire" - but knowing the way shit goes, I highly doubt this record will ever make it into regular rotation. Don't be a slave to the machine and go support these guys.