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Monday, Nov 14 2011 | 15:29 Buy this now at GoodToGo (B2B)

The 8th album from producer Geoff Wilkinson’s hip-hop-jazz crew Us3 sees the introduction of two new MCs with different backgrounds & nationalities. From Puerto Rico via New York comes Oveous Maximus, and from London, England comes Akala.

The familiar Us3 sound features collaborators past & present, including fiery horn players Ed Jones (sax) and Bryan Corbett (trumpet). A variety of keyboard players take the chair including John Crawford, Mike Gorman, Barry Green, Tim Vine, Neil Angilley, and John Turville. Double Bass is handled by Chris Dodd, and DJ First Rate shows off his turntable trickery again.

Akala & Oveous articulate the album theme in the hard-nosed title track, culminating in an epic crescendo of horns. Both rappers acknowledge the spoken word roots of rap respectively; Oveous on the blues-drenched Wild West, and Akala on the staccato stop/start rhythms of The Ring. The melancholic guitar drenched groove of Ghost sees Oveous telling a story of abuse and revenge, while the breakbeat led Puppets has Akala telling a modern day parable relevant to us all. The Us3 sound is expanded to include flamenco influences on Uptown, and the Fela Kuti like afrobeat of (You Are) So Corrupt.

Lie, Cheat & Steal was recorded in London before, during, & after the recent riots, & Akala sums up the atmosphere on Pressure Bursts Pipes over an amalgam of piano, electronica, horns & angular beats.


01. Ghost feat. Oveous Maximus
02. Who Am I? feat. Akala
03. Lie, Cheat & Steal feat. Akala & Oveous Maximus
04. Wild West feat. Oveous Maximus
05. TheRing feat. Akala
06. Uptown feat. Oveous Maximus
07. Pressure Bursts Pipes feat. Akala
08. I Feel You feat. Oveous Maximus
09. You Can Run But You Can’t Hide feat. Akala
10. Puppets feat. Akala
11. (You Are) So Corrupt feat. Akala
12. You Make Me Wanna feat. Oveous Maximus
13. Invincible feat. Oveous Maximus

The album US3Lie, Cheat & Steal” (US3) has been released November 4, 2011.

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