By Michael Endelman
July 07, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

Rhymefest

B+
type
  • Music
Genre

This Chicago rapper has a Grammy (for co-writing Kanye West’s ”Jesus Walks”) and once beat Eminem in an MC battle, but outside of the underground, he’s a virtual unknown. Rhymefest’s impressive debut should expand his fan base, especially among Gen-Xers nostalgic for the warm-hearted vibe of prebling-era rap. On Blue Collar, the gregarious MC spits underdog narratives (”All I Do”) and gut-busting punchlines over soul-drenched beats produced by Kanye, Just Blaze, and Mark Ronson, who gets props for the Strokes sample on ”Devil’s Pie.”

Rhymefest

type
  • Music
Genre
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