Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Rjd2, Aceyalone

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In the wake of recent releases, both MC Aceyalone and producer Rjd2 have been accused of being stuck: they could keep the loyalists entertained, but the true headz were whispering that their outta-the-gate work was all they'd ever be known for. But then nobody's likely to eclipse Innercity Griots, the 1993 album from Aceyalone's old group, Freestyle Fellowship. On their new collaboration, Magnificent City (Decon Inc.), I think both Acey and Rjd2 sound freer and more elastic. "Supahero" is a moody minimalist piece with dark synths, a shuffling beat, and an unusually understated rhyme about romance--Aceyalone's frenetic moments are still there, but he's learned some moderation. And unlike his usual far-flung pastiches, Rjd2's tracks approximate and skew that juicy west coast sound--the kind of soul-sample-based party jams that make it feel like an airless summer night no matter where you are. Soul Position, Rjd2's duo with MC (and fellow Ohioan) Blueprint, will release its second album, Things Go Better With RJ and Al, on Rhymesayers in April. Rjd2 headlines, Aceyalone goes second, and Busdriver opens. Fri 2/24, 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, 773-549-0203 or 312-559-1212, $21, 18+.

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