Brother Reade

MC Jimmy Jamz and DJ/producer Bobby Evans are Brother Reade, a hip-hop duo from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, that has settled in the smoggy climes of East Los Angeles. The California metropolis seems to have exerted a stronger influence than the pair's Dirty South hometown, resulting in a sound closer to Freestyle Fellowship than, say, Little Brother. Hip-hop culture appears to be everything to this twosome, which Jamz points out on the title track: "Rap is love/Rap is sex/Rap is drugs/Rap is us!"

Throughout Brother Reade's debut album, Evans's unconventional beats are as wonderfully varied as his samples, which seem to draw from everything from operatic sounds and jazz to something out of a horror movie. Jamz rhymes with a refreshing lack of ego (even pausing to shout out sympathy to strippers in "Life Ain't Easy for You All") and a wide palette of pop culture references. And although Caucasian hip-hoppers often get a bad rap, the men of Brother Reade are pretty fly for a couple of white guys. — Tamara Palmer


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