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$martyr (2Mex & Life Rexall) – Money Symbol Martyrs

2Mex (of the world famous Visionaries) and beat maker/emcee, Life Rexall, are $martyr. With their underground epoch Money Symbol Martyrs, they deliver 13 tracks that run the gamut from cream pursuits to love to the craft of hip-hop. They also allow room to showcase talent from guests like Busdriver, Sondoobie, Akuma, and The Shapeshifters’ own Die. With music that sounds at times like Prince Paul mashed up with Digable Planets, Rexall and 2Mex show why they are respected by the underground the world over. Tight delivery, insights and a sense of humor, wrapped around cultural observations, bring these tracks to life.


Starting it off is the hyperkinetic ode to De La Soul, “Haters in the BK Lounge.” Social reporting never sounded so gutter. 2Mex and Rexall give all praise to L.A. “Green Grass” is a soundtrack style joint, replete with harmonized vocals that addresses the age-old question: is the grass greener on the other side? $martyr would rather have their home town, with all its ills and joys. “Call You Later” is that joint that you want to play for your girl if you’re not into Cool J or NB Ridaz’ style of love. You know, keeping it real without the R&B twist. All horns and orchestral flourishes, this track could have been produced by a hungry Kanye West. “Freeway Stories” also rides behind horns and flourishes, but highlights its drums and bass, as well. This album moves fast and gets straight to the point. No filler, just sound, energy and two lyric-minded MC’s.

Although many underground albums would do well in the mainstream market if they were only given a chance, this is not one of them. Strictly for the underground, this record will resonate with its intended audience.


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