Has anyone from the Beat Junkies not gone on to do something tremendous? J-Rocc is managing the Beat Junkies Sound label and releasing on Stonesthrow, Rhettmatic is DJ’ing for The Visionaries, and Babu is with Dilated Peoples. 20/20 (Get it? They’re dilated pupils! ha ha!) is their fouth album. The album is filled with sweet puns, including the 9th track, The Eyes Have It, in which the dialogue plays like a vote (“everyone in favor say eye”).

The album starts with an intro skit called Green Trees, featuring Mr Greenthumb (who, from Cypress Hill?) and ends with the title track 20/20, running through a few memorable tracks in between like Alarm Clock Music and Olde English.

All of the production is solid and clean and most of the lyrics are auto-biographical, which seems like a competant decision for any hip hop lyricist these days. The album starts with Back Again which Vibe calls a backpackers anthem, which effectively sets the tone of the album; nouveaux hip hop. I don’t know if anyone else uses that word, but to me it means middleground hip hop artists (underground artists on mostly independent labels, but getting some mainstream exposure). Most of the tracks struggle to be really memorable, but The Eyes Have It, Satellite Radio, and Rapid Transit (feat. Krondon) are all atmospheric, wordy, and exceptional.

Dilated Peoples
Album : 20/20
Release Date : Feb 21, 2006
Label : ABB records