“The World Famous Beat Junkies Vol.2″… I still remember the first time I heard “Style Wars” and damn near lost my mind. It wasn’t long before I had “2000 Fold” in my discman and refused to take it out for weeks. Their high energy boom bap could fill a dance floor with the average club goer and have b-boys doing windmills at the same time. After a quick break up scare, Tak and Ryu have once again teamed up and the result is another stunning piece of work that is “Megadef” in both title and description.
Their sophomore opus picks right up where the debut left off, fluently delivered b-boy rhymes over intense, hard-hitting production. There is a slight twist this time around; rock-rap. I know what you are thinking, that bastardized genre employed by Limp Bizkit. Kill that nonsense, “Be Your Dog,” “Live Enough,” “Superstars” and the title track all use guitars in a very welcome manor (that will still bang out your box). The SOB’s are still their best when they stick to their bread and butter though. Whether it be the classic drums of “Mr. Brown” or the mischievous dancing keys of “Pay Me,” Ryu and Tak throw some saddles on the beat and just ride it.
The defness doesn’t stop; Ryu and Tak’s trademark chemistry is on full display as they go back and forth on “Bleach.” “Outta Control” is just that, as Cheapshot’s beat is just bananas. The ill production continues as the ripped mic count grows when Apathy and Celph-Titled join SOB for some “Playin’ With Fire.” Not to be missed is the insane bonus track, flipping the theme music from the 60’s Japanese cartoon “Gigantor.”
The independent scene in 2003 has been just extraordinary. In the last couple months records from Brother Ali, Louis Logic, J-Zone and Louis Logic have released albums that have blown away anything to drop on a major (save Gang Starr). Styles of Beyond can be added to that list. All 48 minutes are well produced, mixed and sequenced, and one listen will likely have you hitting repeat immediately. With Ryu standing out in particular, the SOB crew is another indy crew that could easily make some noise with commercial exposure. Don’t let Styles get beyond you.