As one of the most influential acts in modern hip-hop, Blackalicious have been responsible for inspiring some of the biggest names in the scene. Yet the pair themselves have been silent for the last ten years. But that is all about to change as Chief Xcel and Gift Of Gab release 'Imani. Vol.1', the first of a trilogy of new releases, and from the start it is clear that these two haven't lost their edge in that time away.
Coming in with a flurried mix of fuzzy guitars, hypnotic synths and powerful drums, the album's full on introduction serves as a precursor to what is about to come. While still keeping much of their funk-inspired sound throughout this new record, the release overall has a much more eclectic feel compared to some of their previous work and makes for a far more interesting listen.
It is clear that these two were more than excited to be recording together again. After so long absent, their return is certainly a positive sign that truly creative and inspiring hip-hop is far from dead.