The West isn’t all about gangsta’s, Hoes, and low riders. Just ask Medaphoar; better known as MED. With his long-awaited debut album, released on the definitive indie label Stones Throw, he shows both that indie rappers can drop that Pop shit (check the banging drums and radio/club friendly fire of the Just Blaze produced Get Back) and that California cats can get cerebral (The Oh No! produced Whut U In It 4). Oh No joins MED behind the mic, as well, on the equally damaging but more sparse track, Serious.
Other guests spots are snapped up by D.I.C. fam Diamond D (along with Poke) on the decidedly East Coast sounding Pressure. While additional production help comes from the always consistent J-Dilla. He did the early Neptunes throwback lead single “Push,” as well as the atmospheric, verbally astute “So Real.” Singer Noelle adds weight to the Talib Kweli-inspired “Special” and to the album’s last track, the jazz-flavored, party anthem, “Nightlife.”
Indie luminary Madlib handles the bulk of the production, adding that lived-in, accessible feeling to the majority of the album. But there is a reason why MED’s album has been so highly anticipated; the kid’s got skills. And he flexes them lovely on cuts like “Hold Your Breath” and “Never Saw It Coming,” where his breathe control and story-telling prowess are explored.
In other words, MED does justice to the history of The Good Life café, while at the same time carving out his own identity. Representing that Oxnard, California living and that L.A. reality, all with a NY state of mind. Just peep the urgency of the cut “Yeah” and you realize that even though radio rap is rather stagnant at the moment, there is hope waiting in the wings. While his moniker is Medaphoar, let the guy who has come to be known as MED resuscitate the game!