Hieroglyphics

Over Time

The East Bay’s Hieroglyphics have served up a whole lotta fresh hip-hop jammies over the past fifteen years. Neither pimps nor gangsters, they’ve been leading lights of West Coast lyricism since Bush I was in office. On Over Time, they open their vaults for some rare B-sides, remixes, and obscure album cuts, giving the average consumer a chance to peep what their cultlike following has long been gurping over. Though a new track or two woulda been nice, Over Time‘s fourteen songs sound more classic than dated, very much in the boom-bip tradition yet with a degree of uniqueness. The album presents a succession of relentless mic attacks over funkified boom-bip beats; it’s like a 63-minute rhyme cipher with occasional breaks for scratching, choruses, and sample loops. Del fans will find much to cheer about, while the perennially slept-on Pep Love absolutely murders the previously unreleased “Prose Officially” with lines like Audio vibes stretch through the projects, the barrio, the hood, and the yard/we come hard/young bitties shake they ass and titties to it/I don’t see nothing wrong/it’s all music. Jaded Hierophiles might bemoan the exclusion of favorites like “Burnt,” “Eye Examination,” or “Undisputed Champs,” yet those omissions only make the prospect of a second volume more appealing.

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