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ROUGHNECK JIHAD & DJ PNUTZ: Fresh Becomes HerContinuing their highly successful partnership, Roughneck Jihad and DJ Pnutz follow-up their 2020 LP collaboration , General Jihad & Prime Minister Pnutz, with new nine-track LP Fresh Becomes Her, ably assisted on six tracks with cuts from Waxsmith and on a seventh by Steven Flex. All of which means you can expect late nineties-style underground hip-hop featuring Jihad’s nonchalant mic style and the not inconsiderable production skills of Pnutz herself.

Although previous Pnutz productions have nodded towards early Shadow and RJD2 stylistically, a better touchstone for the vibe on this one however might actually be the sort of project Dan The Automator used to knock out in the early ’00s. Beatwise, the album veers towards the soundtrack-esque as per the various Dr Octagon projects and it’s an atmosphere aided and abetted by Jihad’s mic style with him unloading bars in an almost confidential, ‘word-in-your-shell-like’ style. Mind you, with track titles like Scalps And Pelts, Sub Zero and, in particular, Female Circumision (cuts by Waxsmith – ouch!) – it’s fairly clearly we’re not in party territory. This latter track is the one which disrupts the noir-ish vibe of opening trio, Cheap After Shave (on which Pnutz also mixes up eastern influences while Jihad references the Sith) and Dim Witted, with appropriately scattershot drums and some blistering scratching. The title track is somewhat more uptempo but if anything darker with Jihad noting that “Record store folks buy a different kind of dope,” before introducing the notions of ‘murder rap’ and ‘Truman Capote.’ The second half of the LP then zig-zags tonally between this intensity and something lighter, like Come Around’s  soul noir take on old school rhyming with RJ’s hook observing that, “DJ Pnutz she gets down, mixing records while they go round/ Roughneck Jihad, words by the pound/ Sucker MCs will not come around,” before the dark returns on Scalps And Pelts‘ exploration of the cutthroat nature of the music industry, succeeded by the ‘chipmunk soul’-powered Sub Zero and The Streets‘ doomy guitar-drenched closer.  Fresh becomes the pair of them!
(Out now HERE)

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