But Blackalicious has made the step back to indieland with skills and ambition intact on The Craft, one example being the garage-rocking "Powers," which bears more than a passing resemblance to Big Boi and Dre 3000's biggest hit, "Hey Ya," yet is delightful on its own merits. "Powers" might even become the "Hey Ya" of 2005. But that long-shot outcome won't be necessary to validate this duo's skill, as Blackalicious earns all the props it needs on The Craft's centerpiece, "The Fall and Rise of Elliott Brown," a towering epic of ghetto redemption -- the sort big-label rappers have forgotten is possible. Here's hoping at least a few are listening.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.