#rewindreview: Polyrhythm Addicts ‘Rhyme Related’ EP 1999

  The day I purchased this release in the summer of 1999 I also purchased Lootpack’s ‘Soundpieces: Da Antidote’ so needless to say my ears were beyond satisfied. Polyrhythm Addicts was a collaboration similar to Black Star, where individual M.C.’s teamed up to create a supergroup. Apani B. Fly Emcee, Mr. Complex & Shabaam Sahdeeq made for the core rappers while beats were all provided by D.J. Spinna. For me none of these names could do no wrong going into this EP. ALL OF THEM had shaped my HOP perspective by 1999 with independent 12″ singles, features and songs that never left me unsatisfied. The collaboration of all four was icing on a cake that audiences unfortunately would never get to taste again. Polyrhythm Addicts was yet another example of how dynamics in groups from the yesteryears of HOP music were critical to why those were the best of times. Shabaam Sahdeeq was the marksmen shooter with his lyrics, while Apani provided the voice and delivery that was so perfect for the texture of this release and Mr. Complex’s abstract style of rhyming makes the group “not your ordinary.” Add on D.J. Spinna who by the late 1990’s was in a zone unmatched with his production. From beginning to end ‘Rhyme Related’ never let’s up. ‘Take Me Home’ which has one of the few features on this album with Pharoahe Monch reminds me of the summer season this EP came out in. The previously released ‘Not Your Ordinary’ fits perfectly after that with D.J. Spinna’s signature sound. Songs like ‘Should Have Known Better’ and ‘Nervous Breakdown’ capture the synergy of the M.C.’s like an updated Funky Four Plus One. It is ‘Big Phat Boom’ that hits the soul though. With dreamy production from D.J. Spinna and a vocal sample from Q-Tip proclaiming the name of the group “Polyrhythm Addicts…,” Apani solidified her rankings with me as an M.C. on this track. If ever there is a question as to why she is one of my favorite women rappers, her lead off on ‘Big Phat Boom’ is a small sample to why. I could go on about this EP but it’s downfall is that it was only an “EP” not an album. The impact this release could have made as an album with a few more songs is a ‘What If…’ moment for me and although a full album from the group released eight years later, it was missing a key element in Apani B. Fly. This is still one of my favorite listens and much like a rare diamond, I try to appreciate ‘Rhyme Related’ as such. What did you think of the album? Singles include: ‘Not Your Ordinary’ & ‘Motion 2000’   Listen to QUANTUM LEAP RADIO every Saturday from 4-6p.m. CST & Thursday from 3-5a.m. CST on 90.1 FM KPFT Houston in HD2 Worldwide @kpft.org/listen/ & TuneIn app (under “kpft in HD2”) Catch past episodes by searching and following @fanlink.to/QuantumLeapRadio

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