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Iyan Anomolie 

The Book of I (Patternbased)

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Since releasing his 2002 solo debut, Iyan Anomolie has earned a bachelor's degree and become a figure in Cleveland hip-hop as part of the forward-thinking 12 Monkeys crew. The rhymer experienced the same problem in hip-hop and academia: All the fundamental skills are considered hopelessly old-school, and the masses spend their years contributing to self-perpetuating traditions, be they thuggery or communication theory.

Sometimes the best way to contribute is to ignore the times and just write something simple that makes sense. Enter The Book of I. As Anomolie describes it in "Knuckles Pt. 2," it's "hip-hop that don't stop/Like bad brake pads." A who's who of Cleveland's progressive hip-hop underground -- Joe Minadeo and Corey Farrow of Akron's Beatmakers 913, Phatburner of Cleveland's Protoculture Crew, and Ill Advice from Lorain's Play Havoc -- produced the disc, wrapping Victorian woodwinds, '50s strings, and '60s jazz around Iyan's unflappable flow.

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