The Mighty Underdogs Droppin' Science Fiction (Definitive Jux)
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Featuring Quannum Projects vets Gift of Gab (from Blackalicious) and Lateef the Truthspeaker (of Latyrx), and producer Headnodic (of Crown City Rockers), The Mighty Underdogs is a group that adds up to less than the sum of its parts. Problem is, the guys are trying to sound like they're not taking things seriously—even when they are. Take "Ill Vacation," featuring Lyrics Born. Over island-style brass and a relaxed bassline, Gift of Gab raps about meeting an army like "Private Ryan"'s on a "private island," fears he will be sacrificed to a "giant lion" but eventually escapes and finds "shiny diamonds." It's not nearly as whimsical or funny as it sets out to be. "Have fun, goddamit!" the guys are practically screaming on tracks like "Laughing At You," which features lame punchlines ("You're in your own world/ And no one else feels you/ Your breath smells like shit/ Your feet reek of mildew") over what sounds like a laughing hyena sample. The album's best moments are the tense, spaghetti-western flavored "Gun Fight"—easily the CD's highlight—and the by turns jaunty, by turns frantic "Escape." Elsewhere however, The Mighty Underdogs try to be cute and fail to live up to their super group billing.