While New York heads moan about a lack of solid indie rap fare this year, West Coast acts such as Blackalicious' Gift of Gab and the Shapeshifters continue to bang out hits for anyone who'll listen. Next in line is Libretto, a member of Portland, Oregon, outfit Misfit Massive; his debut, Ill-oet, is like a superior follow-up to that crew's debut entry last year, Lifesavas' Spirit in Stone. There are funk bangers ("Show Me Love"), life affirmations ("Last Drop"), and underground jams ("Dirty Thangs") that should get even the stiffest backpacker open. You know how the Westside gets down, East Coasters; now it's time to appreciate. -- Mosi Reeves

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