Smut Peddlers

Smut Peddlers

Porn Again

Rawkus

The sex rhyme has a long and slippery history — immortalized by Too $hort’s “Freaky Tales,” commercialized by Tone Loc’s “Funky Cold Medina,” made art by Digital Underground’s “Freaks of the Industry,” and continuously denied acceptance due to the mind-firmly-in-the-gutter sliminess of the entire Luke oeuvre. The few times the salacious mini-genre moves past T & A into actual progressive territory, it usual means the rapper in question laces his exploitative rhymes with a keen eye towards irony (as do both Ice Cube and Ice T) or he simply coats the underlying lewdness with complex rhyme schemes and wet witticisms (Kool Keith’s Sex Style album or Biggie’s verse on Luke’s “Bust A Nut”).

The latter seems to be the formula for the Smut Peddlers — renowned underground MCs Cage and Mr. Eon, with raucous Rawkus producer DJ Mighty Mi — whose debut, Porn Again, simultaneously plays to both the smartest and smuttiest hip hop fans. If the wordplay — replete with mind-numbing rhymes, irreverent pop culture reference points, and highly evolved playground humor — doesn’t make this one of the most consistently entertaining rap albums of the year, it will at least make it the most sperm-soaked, with the gooey stuff making more guest appearances than Macy Gray. Brilliant, profane, and culturally aware, Cage (despite constant beef, still a dead ringer for Eminem) and Mr. Eon (no beef yet, but still a dead ringer for Redman) shoot rhymes with the same ease as they shoot loads, gleefully zig-zagging across the line between clever and vulgar opening with, “Look at shorty from The Shining• all grown up rhyming. Still talking to my finger, but now it’s through bitches’ stomach lining.

If the X-rated rhymes don’t resonate with the hip-hop intellegensia, DJ Mighty Mi’s intricate production certainly will, a scratch-heavy traditional Rawkus beats n’ potatoes job, layered with New York string bluster, darkly hued heavy funk, and rollickingly static basslines. Truly, Porn Again is the product of three men who were obviously bright enough to only read the articles in Playboy, and sleazy enough to only masturbate to the pictorials in Hustler.

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