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  • Eyedea & Abilities- E&B

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The second full-length CD by Minneapolis-based Eyedea and Abilities, E&A is far more accomplished than their debut, First Born, which, though not without its merits, felt incomplete and lacked a certain amount of confidence. Eyedea seemed vulnerable, perhaps too defensive about being complex, difficult, and heady. This follow-up shares these intellectual qualities with its predecessor, only now Eyedea sounds more comfortable with his place in the rap world, and, consequently, flows and weaves more surely through Abilities’s beats and glass-dazzling cuts. Indeed, on tracks such as “Kept,” “Star Destroyer,” and “Reintroducing” (which makes a wonderful reference to a technical innovation on Run D.M.C.’s 1988 track “Beats to the Rhyme”), Eyedea does something he mostly failed to do on the first CD: he positively swings. Instead of collapsing his words, rhymes, and ideas into a thousand impossible parts, he now fuses these elements into the pure beam of a rap swing. E&A is not a masterpiece, but it bodes very well for the future. –Charles Mudede

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