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Dilated Peoples: 20/20

Dilated_2020_cover.jpgDilated Peoples are somewhat of an enigma. Despite being signed to a major label since 2000, the L.A.-based trio of Rakaa, Evidence and DJ Babu are still considered underground by most accounts. Even the Kanye West–featured single “This Way” off their 2004 LP Neighborhood Watch couldn’t break the crew out of their subterranean constraints. Unfortunately, Dilated’s fourth disc, 20/20, does little to help mainstream audiences see their vision any clearer.

For the most part, Dilated stick to the boom-bap essentials that earned them props in the mid-’90s. The approach works on tracks like the organ-laced “You Can’t Hide, You Can’t Run” and the Talib Kweli–assisted “Kindness for Weakness,” where MCs Rakaa and Evidence drop dense lyrical bombs while resident turntablist Babu delivers the skillful cuts and scratches. Another notable record is the Alchemist-produced “Back Again.” Supported by a grooving bass line and crashing cymbals, Evidence bites Diddy and spits, “Back again for the very fourth time/Don’t worry if I write checks, I write rhymes.”

In other instances, Dilated’s basic formula fails. Take the Capleton-featured “Firepower (The Tables Have to Turn),” where Rakaa’s politically charged lyrics get bogged down by Evidence’s cheesy video game–sounding beat. Other snooze-inducing material includes “Another Sound Mission” and “Olde English,” both of which suffer from lethargic flows. But the biggest dud comes courtesy of “Rapid Transit,” where Evidence delivers questionable bars like, “Cats got weak shit, come at me with a better line/I don’t respect rappers, I respect Kevin Federline.”

While more listenable cuts like “The Eyes Have It” and “Alarm Clock Music” make up for the previous lyrical faux pas, they come too late to salvage this monotonous project. With no clear-cut radio-friendly joints and limited subject matter, it will be difficult for Dilated Peoples to open many new eyes with 20/20. —PATRICK MCCOURTY

  • http://www.ominus-djs.gr OMINUS

    Nowadays,a group like Dilated Peoples that stays true to the origins of the real hip-hop should get an xl alone for that fact.Of course everyone expected this disc way better,but to compare a song like ”Back Again” with f.e ”Lean with it,Rock With it”is like trying to explain Chino xl’s witty punchlines to lil’Romeo!!!

  • http://xxlmag.com bobdigi

    Dialated Peoples got a M,and BG got an XL, this is the last time I read this fuckin magazine.

  • http://source one

    man i live i cali and niggas in cali dont even like these guys yall sound needs a change instead of try’n to stay true 2 a sound thats just old and out of the loop. yall are one of the reasons that the west is having such a hard time now cause of u dead weight niggas stuck in 1991 that shit didnt even sell back then. what makes u think its gonna work now. smarten up niggas and stop making the west look bad

  • http://therapup.blogspot.com Rizoh

    i see your point on the review but that album deserved far higher than an “M”. three bad songs and it’s an M? come on now

  • http://www.soundclick.com/bravado508 Mikey

    WEAK REVIEW! Man, This is probably the best CD I’ve heard so far this year (Anticipitating the AOTP and Apathy CD). Hard to believe that you gave this CD an M and gave Dem Franchize Boyz an L. They garbage, and this is coming from a 13 year old white boy from the suburbs. This CD deserves a way better rating.

  • http://hotmail.com bullion cube

    ya’ll don’t like it just cuz it’s different, new & fresh….but i don’t even take your ratings seriously because you gave the ridiculous ying-yang twins a xl ….& that’s not even hip hop.your motto is hip hop music on a higher level..not wack-ass booty music on a higher level.

  • DJ Heist

    Dialated Peoples shit is filthy!!!!Back Again has got that crazy beat form Alchemist and Old English is one of the best songs I’ve heard in a long ass time. They’re way fuckin better than those snapping retards DFB
    But,than how can I trust your ratings when you gave B.I.G a L for the duets. I love you guys, but DAMM!!
    Holla Back

  • vex

    Its good, its pretty solid for them, its alot better than their last album, to the dude talkin about cali heads dont like em, u must not be involved in the LA hip hop scene, dilated is one of the highest selling indie hip hop acts there is. This album deserves at least a L.

  • http://www.fukyou.com Bitch

    dilated peoples are shit and all u should not like dem there r the biggest fags ever

  • Stonyman

    One thing that I found they did a lot in the album was recycle the same lyrics. I mean it worked in some cases but it was just something I noticed. Although I do think the ‘M’ rating is weak, ‘L’ yeah, but it wasn’t better then Neighborhood Watch and I’m not talking about “This Way” there are much better songs.

  • Supreme

    Dilated Peoples is phat and their shows are always live, they came down to Houston last night and wrecked the spot. Giving them a “M” is weak. Putting snap music ahead is pure hip-hop is trash.

  • http://XXL.COM 1&ONLY

    I THOUGHT BACK AGAIN WAS GOOD

  • Crazy

    wat the fuck r yall givein 20/20 a M are yall fukin retarded tht atleast deserves an XL

  • Rational Solution

    What a bonk rating. This reviewer is an asshole, drop your paper and pad. Those that can’t write rhymes sit down and write a book. I think this shows who the real artist is.

  • KeRoZeN

    Man I can’t believe it. First and last time on this Website. They loco? Givin’ Dilated a M!? They just dunno what real Hip Hop is about!
    Totally agree with y guys. The reviewer is a piece of shit!

  • L.A. FOE LIFE

    I ain’t a nigga that really enjoy dat conscious social shit but Dilated Peoples be nasty as a mothafucka cuzz. Dem, Jurassic 5 & L.A. Symphony definitely be reppin’ L.A. to tha fullest. These niggas should at least an L. XXL ya’ll fallin’ off!!

  • NEW ORLEANS UPTOWN

    AYO DAT BACK AGAIN SHIT IS HEROIN AND SEX IN ONE DOPE AS FUCK
    BACK AGAIN FOR DA VERY FOURTH TIME/DONT WORRY IF I WRITE CHECKS I WRITE RHYMES
    ONE OF DA HOTTEST BARS OF 2006

  • http://MINDSTATELA.COM ARSANIC

    WHAT I DONT UNDERSTAND IS HOW COME ALCHEMIST IS ALWAYS BLAZING FIFTY AND MOBB DEEP WITH HEAT AND DIALATED ALWAYS SEEMS TO BE PICKING THAT I GO TO COLLEGE TYPE BEAT SHIT, THAT DE LA SOUL MELROSE HOLLYWOOD HIP HOP, YOU CATS AT DIALATED NEED TO SAY FUCK IT YOU KNOW HOW TO RAP WELL START DROPING THAT MURDER MUSIC TALK ABOUT WHAT YOU SEE FUCK IT YALL CATS FROM THE LOS TALK ABOUT THE GANGSTER SHIT WITH YOUR STYLE OF FLOW YALL GOT SOME FLOW NOW INCORPORATE THAT WITH SOME GRIMY GRIMY, BUT NO YALL WANT TO KEEP DROPING THAT PEACE FULLSHIT THATS WHAT KEEPS YALL GETTING THOSE WEEK REVIEWS TIME IS KEEPS ON SLIPING YOU BETTER DO SOMETHING QUICK BECAUSE YOU WILL SOON FIND YOUR SELFS IRRELEVENT TO THE TIMES.

  • Pause

    that says it right there…B.G. gets XL and Dialated gets a M? thats hilarious…omg…..dogg there must be a mistake…whoa…hahahahahahaha…cmon now….dialated keep it moving 4real..xxl is a joke now lol

  • Leroy

    Fuck what most of the shit that critiques say. 20/20 is one of the dopest LPs. Fuck Young Joc, Franchise Boys and all that other boring-ass bullshit commercial rap. And no shit that they do bite and recycle, ’cause if they didn’t, they probably wouldn’t have their CDs released. Hip Hop is dead nowdays and they use the shit as a hustle. It’s all rappin’ about dealing coke and goin’ to the clubs to get with the girls. And Dilated Peoples’ style. Ev said “I don’t fuck with that industry flow/ What I do fuck with is that industry dough/” And so fuckin’ what that Ev flipped P. Diddy’s lines. There’s a good reason why the hell he flipped that shit. It’s painfully obvious that these people don’t really know what hip-hop is, shit’s been like that for a long-ass time. But it’s all good. Underground hip-hop forever!

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  • chevy562

    yo this cd should at least be a L, i mean these guys are sick- i know this cd doesnt compare to their old projects but its still sick…… c’mon to give them an M ,, fuck you who ever rated this fuck you!!!!-bitch

  • Brendon

    I’ve read other reviews from these guys seems like their biased against the underground and appeal more to the mainstream so stick to mainstream artists