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Album: Paycheck to Paycheck (2007)

Artist: Comfortable Creeps

Label: FTB Recordings

Where available/price: All Music Trader record shops for $8. Online at accesshiphop.com for $7 or iTunes for 99 cents a song.

Songs: 1) Kerri’s Carcass 2) Propaganda Pollution 3) Stolen Destruction 4) Spit Some Shit 5) We Ain’t Havin’ That 6) Dutch Masters Intro 7) Dutch Masters 8) Requiem for Your Mom 9) How Would Life Be 10) Opinions 11) Rain on Grand 12) Condoleeza [sic] Rice 13) Suffering 14) Doin What He Wants 15) Habitchual 16) Anthem 17) Throw the First Punch 18) Long Remembered

Group: Dfye (emcee), Fino (emcee, producer), Eternal (emcee/producer), Matlock (emcee/producer), Frye (producer), Jay Dub (emcee), Dec 20 (emcee/producer)

Website: myspace.com/thecomfortablecreeps

As producers, Comfortable Creeps create beautiful soundscapes with an adherence to traditional 1990s New York underground hip-hop: each song follows the template perfected by Black Star on their 1999 release, Respiration. All Comfortable Creeps tracks start out with a nice cut from a jazz guitar or an old movie clip and orchestral strings. After a few bars the group drops in the bass line and begins rapping. That’s where things go wrong.

Comfortable Creeps rap competently. Trading time on the mike, the emcees convey urgency and confidence with their voices. But their scattershot writing falls short of their skill level. They lack cohesion and read from different scripts; one draws a narrative about street life, another rants an antiwar screed, while another falls into the genre trap of calling out other musicians and boasting of musical supremacy. Worse still are their unimaginative clichés of crack-addicted mothers and calling other hip-hop groups “wack and gay.”

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