The Numbs & Linus Stubbs
Earthburn Records
Street: 06.27
Soulburn = The Pharcyde + Ugly Duckling + E&A
What could be better than veterans in their element? This collaborative effort from scene-defining artists The Numbs and seasoned beatsmith Linus Stubbs has it all.  The beats are rich, full of classic soul and Motown-sounding samples.  Stubbs can make simple boom-bap into a dusty funk soundtrack, tight and gritty at the same time. The lyrics are what you’d expect for a group of emcees who’ve been trading mics for over a decade.  Their characteristic complementary delivery is totally fluid, without any of the hesitation, rough spots or missed opportunities that can characterize underground hip hop these days.  From the jazz-flute laden intro track into the brass heavy “The Return,” the record starts and never really slows down.  “Vigilante” has my favorite flow, while the percussive “DNA” keeps my hands slapping my thighs with drum rhythms.  If there’s any complaint, it’s that the groove is too consistent—the pace could vary a little more—but what these guys do, they do very well.  Never stop, gentlemen!