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LMNO (Leave My Name Out) has been a consistent rapper since the day he spit his first verse, yet remains grossly underrated. A member of the legendary Visionaries group, collaborator with Madlib and other prominent artists in the underground Los Angeles hip-hop scene such as Ras Kass and label-mate 2Mex, LMNO’s clinical style is a soothing and head nodding pleasure to listen. This time around, LMNO pairs up with France’s up-and-comer beat composer Yann Kesz in a laid-back and foundation-shattering album Devilish Dandruff and Holy Shampoo. Laced for precision, LMNO and Yann Kesz develop a great combination on the majority of the tracks on this album that lead to a diabolical complex of texture and illumination.
Never missing a beat, LMNO rhymes his way through this one with creative ease. Of particular significance in this album is “Creation of a Gun,” paramount to the creativity and catchiness of the surprisingly heavy spiritual underground sound. All over clean and wholesome, LMNO’s raps come through with an unexpected yet welcome conscious force. A street poet, LMNO makes reference to the many social ills affecting our world civilization, providing a thorough diagnosis to which he presents a radical religious awakening as its remedy. Featuring guest emcees JFK of Grayskul, producer Kev Brown (which he has worked with before on 2008’s Selective Hearing) among others, LMNO’s latest release provides a clear and strong presence of his emceeing skills—and of the great need for a positive direction among the “Many Options.”
Although pretty well known in underground circles, LMNO’s appeal should be much wider. His sound is infectious, his style is impenetrable, and his mic skills are ridiculously on point. LMNO is coming up in the game—guaran-expletive-teed. LMNO’s collaboration with Yann Kesz is just another entry on his rap résumé, and a welcome entry into the world of hip-hop music. Although the album is far from perfect, it’s a solid one from LMNO’s catalogue and a good introduction to his older more rugged releases. From the synthetic mass produced sounds of the present, LMNO’s work brings you back to the fibers without the excess—providing a thoughtful and effective elixir for the Devilish Dandruff with the one and only Holy Shampoo.