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| Reviews |

Various Artists

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Every independent music scene needs a selfless character to help shine the light on other artists — even when it detracts from his own spotlight. As far as Palm Beach hip-hop goes, that catalyst is a producer/MC by the name of E.F.O.N., who's been putting out a series of mixtapes showcasing independent talent for quite awhile. He's back with another installment, and this time The "Almost" Free Album Vol. 4 moves beyond the basement state and gathers underground singles from across the nation. It's not that he's given up on local talent — nothing could be further from the truth — but the underground knows no borders. This project proves it.

There are some solid local jams here, the best of which are Shay J's "That's My Car" and the tune "I Want It All," by Miami's solo artist Rashad. Aside from these standouts, E.F.O.N. himself contributes some heady rhymes on "How to Rap," and Renda Writer even lends a spoken-word piece to keep things interesting. There is a noted lack of estrogen on this album, however — all 16 tracks are by male artists. Still, what's most impressive, aside from the material, is that E.F.O.N. takes the time to spell out everyone's e-mail and MySpace address between songs — not only of the artists but also of the producers. That takes a lot of love and work, but that's the whole point. He's got all three counties well-represented as far as indie talent goes, making it easy for listeners to enjoy their music and for promoters to give these guys some work.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

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Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.