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[Off The Record]
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All Natural
SECOND NATURE
(THRILL JOCKEY)

" No beef, " in the words of this Chicago indie-rap duo (MC Capital D and producer/DJ Tone B. Nimble), isnít just a metaphor for their pacifist outlook; itís meant to be taken literally ó theyíre vegetarians. Which is fitting, since All Naturalís jazz-laced production and earnest, moralist rhyme style are reminiscent of hip-hopís most famous anti-swine group, A Tribe Called Quest. But where ATCQ exploited jazzís earthy and uplifting qualities, on All Naturalís sophomore release, the breathy sax lines and gothic piano stabs inject a particularly Midwestern sense of longing and regret. " Vegetarian " opens with a slow, mournful dirge that sounds like a foghorn blast coming off Lake Michigan, and Capital D matches the slowly creeping tempos with dry observations about urban Chicago, " where you can see the subtle switches in the social stratum " and " brothers ainít pleasant and people ainít friendly. "

BY MICHAEL ENDELMAN

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