Good, old-fashioned hip-hop gets a shot in the arm with Afu-Ra's sophomore set, Life Force Radio.

Good, old-fashioned hip-hop gets a shot in the arm with Afu-Ra's sophomore set, Life Force Radio. For those familiar with Afu's 2000 debut, Body of the Life Force, the New York native again offers straightforward, musically diverse tracks. Backed by thrashing guitar riffs and a mosh-pit-inspiring breakbeat, lead single "Hip Hop" finds Afu dropping lyrical jewels like the veteran MC he is. The album abounds with guest appearances, including Koch labelmate RZA, M.O.P. (who appeared on Body of the Life Force), and Big Daddy Kane. Teena Marie makes a rare guest turn on the soulful "Open," while fellow D&D Studios resident Guru turns up on the DJ Premier-produced "Blvd." Void of all the bells and whistles found in much of today's shiny, happy hip-hop, Life Force Radio is incredibly real and worth tuning in to.—RH

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