2002 was a good year apparently, as I've been posting up a lot from that year. Take this as another example then of the greatness of a decade past: the slab of wax off of EX2's sophomore full - length, Nemesis. On their earlier releases EX2 always filled up the space in their music, with an impenetrable wall of battle raps and heavy, heavy beats. It's hard to catch a breath listening to those first records, which is awesome, but also not for every mood. So it was with some welcome that I heard this 12" featuring fewer emcees and more skeletal beats. However I always tend to miss the old styles when an artist progresses, and it's no different here. What I remember most about their old sound was the cacophony of different voices and styles fighting to be heard above relentless rhythms. Here it's all relatively subdued, nowhere near to the point of complacency, but definitely tuned down a notch. Syndrome shares the lead-off track with Roach the DJ, over an unmistakably and endearingly scruffy Mike Nardone beat. WD4D returns to the Elements' producer's chair for a track with Syndrome and Gel Roc. And Daddy Kev produces a non-album track on the B-side with solo rap by Gel.Virus and Regret also appear, but only on the hook of the first track, "Look Away". This single is indicative of the album it promoted, as the album also had a little more space to breathe, due the diminished roster of lyrical talent and less tempestuous beats. It's a great album, incredibly well-rounded, which is kind of a scary thing to say about the group in question. But don't worry, EX2 are never soft. They still kick major ass to this very day.
Endangered Elements 12"