Since 2005’s The Craft, California rap duo Blackalicious have been all but mute.
Blackalicious were once a crucial member of the Mo’Wax stable, releasing a number of EPs and 1999’s impressive Nia on the label. The pair’s distinctive sound – dusty, undemanding head-snap from producer Chief Xcel; ostentatious and acrobatic wordplay from Gift Of Gab – is often rewarding, if occasionally a touch glib. 2010’s ‘Toy Jackpot’ aside, the pair haven’t turned out any fresh music for yonks – something which is about to change in the near future.
Exclaim report that a new single, titled ‘Blacka’, will arrive at the end of the month. The track promises to be “the first song in a wave of long-anticipated music”. It’s anybody’s guess whether that “wave” will be a series of 12″-sized ripples or a double album tsunami, but we’re intrigued nonetheless.
The pair will also be building buzz for their return by digitally reissuing one of their earliest releases. The Melodica EP was originally issued on Mo’Wax back in 1994, and holds the honour of being the first record to introduce Gift Of Gab’s elastic band flow to a global audience. The release will also include ‘Changes’, a rare cut previously only available on Japanese versions of the album. DJ Shadow and James Lavelle, no less, help out with production.
The Melodica EP is due on July 31 on Black Mines. ‘Blacka’ will arrive on the same day.
Melodica EP Tracklisting:
1. Lyric Fathom
2. Rhymes For The Deaf, Dumb And Blind
3. Swan Lake
4. Attica Black
5. Cheezit Terrorist
6. 40 oz. For Breakfast
7. Deep In The Jungle (ft. Lateef Tha Truthspeaker and Asia Born)
8. Changes (prod. by Chief Xcel, DJ Shadow, and James Lavelle)