In The SEA
Criminally overlooked, Central Intelligence was among the greatest Seattle hip hop acts in the 90's and early 00's. Similar in sound and style to Black Anger, Source Of Labor and Narcotik, these five emcees spit knowledge in styles that were concrete, definitive, and mature. The subject matter on this self-titled album from 2001 ranges from the personal to the political, spoken in 5 distinct, articulate voices. With like-minded beats from two of the major architects of the sound, Vitamin D and Bean One, this album is a hidden classic of the Tribal era.
I sadly learned about this group after the fact, when Mike Clark and Jake One's amazing expose on the history of Seattle hip hop showed up on Cocaine Blunts. Besides this album, CI also contributed to the crucial Sportn'Life Compilation from 2003. They also were reputed to put on a mean live set. A slim but 100% quality legacy.