If the lastest release by El Da Sensei and The Returners sounds a little old school, there’s a reason for that. El Da Sensei formed The Artifacts with Tame One back in 1994 and got a major label deal out of it. And he deserved it. The ‘Facts were part of the original backpacker movement, mixing raw reality with intelligent, uplifting philosophy. El kept this going in his solo career, working with old school rap elites like Sadat X (Brand Nubians) and Paroah Monch, as well as new(er) jack backpacker types like J-Live. We haven’t heard from him in a while, but he’s risen again with another release that a has a “classic” sound mixed with modern production by Polish hip-hop producers The Returners, and guest spots by Treach of Naughty By Nature, Sean Price of Boot Camp Klick, Akrobatik, and Tiye Phoenix, among others.
If you call yourself a rap fan, you owe it to the game, to the groundbreakers, and to yourself to buy this album.