Hailing form Oxnard, California, M.E.D. (aka Medaphor) has been watching his Classic gather dust on the shelf for a year or so. Fans will already be familiar with a handful of tracks, like “Medical Card,” “Where I’m From,” and “Classic” (featuring Talib Kweli), but there are enough gems tucked away on the album to keep everyone’s attention.

Classic contains a few heat-seeking club bangers, like “Too Late,” “Roll Out” (featuring Planet Asia and Kurupt), and “JWF” that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on his debut. But overall, M.E.D. is more relaxed on this set, content to take his time and explore. He takes to the skies on “Flying High” and “Medical Card,” jet-sets on “Int’l,” and returns home on “Where I’m From.”

One standout, both lyrically and musically, is the Madlib-produced “Blaxican,” on which M.E.D. explores his “black power and brown pride” atop a sweet but urgent melody. On the deadpan “Get That,” M.E.D. and guest POK lament stereotypical rappers’ addictions to paint-by-label lyricism, joking, It’s a shame that the game is this whack/You ain’t got a Range? Then you gotta go get that.”

Madlib handles the bulk of production, ripping apart samples from Con Funk Shun, Howard Johnson, and Maxi Anderson, to name a few. Georgia Anne Muldrow, Oh No (Madlib’s brother), The Alchemist, and Karriem Riggins contribute a track each, all of which help construct the record’s aesthetic of funk: chopped, sliced, and served raw. (Stones Throw)


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