Thanks to consistently head-nodding beats and an inspired performance by Opio, the Oakland rapper's Triangulation Station is a solid debut. His themes range from protesting gun violence ("Viva Main Vein!!!") to eschewing drug abuse ("Roxxxana"). Like most indie hip-hop albums, the music sounds too busy and frenetic at times as Opio, who is best known as part of the acclaimed quartet Souls of Mischief, stuffs his tracks with a preponderance of lyrics as if he were stuffing a cannoli with cheese. For the most part, that's a good thing: "I'm behind the wheel like Taxi Driver," he muses on "The Grassy Knoll." "But that's not an advertisement for violence/It's more a mindset, an abstract concept/For when I'm rhyming against all odds/And not all talk, I play my part."

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Mosi Reeves
Contact: Mosi Reeves