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Subtropical Spin

The Free Album (Self-released)

Thanks to rhymers like Pluzwun and Mike West, the 954 is starting to get noticed as a hotbed of hip-hop creativity. As the Fort Liquordale community pulls itself up by its bootstraps and works hard to build a scene, folks might want to take a look north to rope in some allies. Believe it or not, The Free Album is a mixtape featuring rappers from all over Palm Beach County. It might not sport the best production or the most consistent talent, but host/producer/MC Efon, a.k.a. Stress, has managed to find a collection of hungry MCs that, when taken as a whole, builds the case for an up-and-coming local scene. The best overall performances here are on the crew track "Top to Bottom," featuring Finesse and WPB MC Antomic. Both dudes spit midtempo, mildy aggressive verses about South Florida streets, "the land of the booty and the home of the bass." Antomic also makes a strong showing on his solo track, "Hottest Around," flowing boastful over a string-plucked, G-funk beat. Between tracks, Efon lays out the ground rules for breaking into the rap game, speaking like a true authority. He may or may not have the hands-on experience to back up his words, but they mostly ring true. If PBC hip-hop is ever going to make it to the next level, it'll be these guys who take it there.
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Jonathan Zwickel