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The Smut Peddlers 

M.O.P., with the Smut Peddlers. Thursday, April 12, at the Agora.

Spending a couple of years strapped to a bed in a mental institution is more likely to nurture psychosis than cure it. Though MC Cage was a hip-hopper long before his alleged commitment to a New York state nuthouse, his emceeing took a turn for the psychotically perverse once he reemerged as one of two MCs in the Smut Peddlers. Acclaimed hip-hop duo High & Mighty (a.k.a. Mr. Eon and DJ Mighty Mi), the underground vets responsible for Philadelphia's Eastern Conference Records, round out the Smut Peddlers' lineup, with Mr. Eon joining Cage on the microphone and DJ Mighty Mi laying down the beats. Though High & Mighty have occasionally dipped into lewd waters, their stock-in-trade is a more nostalgic, spliffed-out sound that celebrates weed and sports, among other typical hip-hop themes. On Porn Again, the outfit's debut, Mr. Eon, with his husky, limber flow, comes off as a cocky, overindulgent player, leaving Cage to lash away with his venomous tongue, routinely delivering lines so misogynistic, they make a relative gentleman out of Eminem. Mighty Mi's beats deliver such potent funk that you'd think Dr. Dre had a hand in constructing them, and the album is often reminiscent of early gangsta rap as a result. Topping it off, Beetljuice, a regular guest on the Howard Stern Show, provides the album's introduction and several interludes. He's a bucktoothed black midget who claims to pimp hundreds of women, and as with many of the stories the Smut Peddlers tell on Porn Again, you don't know whether he's on the real or not. But even if the "honorary fourth member" doesn't roll into town with the Peddlers -- some live shots of the group in Porn Again's liner notes suggest that he might -- you can bet the group will be dishin' out some serious smut.

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