Tanya Morgan

The name Tanya Morgan might sound like that of a neo-soul songstress, but it is actually the pseudonym of a collaboration among MCs — Brooklyn's Von Pea and Cincinnati's Ilwil (Ilyas and Donwill). The trio met online and began e-mailing song demos back and forth between takes on their other projects. The final product is the eighteen-track Moonlighting, a raw piece of hip-hop creativity comparable to early works of the Pharcyde, Jurassic 5, and People Under the Stairs. "I don't even have a studio, but I'm still magically musical," raps Von Pea — which is true: The instrumentation is so imaginative (backward synths, funky electric jazz guitar loops, fast disco beats) and the lyrics so clever that you begin to realize how insignificant production value becomes when compared to creativity.

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Ryan Brown