Doomsday (Return of the Real) (NBC Posse/Tha Company)

Akron rhymer KC is a barrel-chested hustler, rhymer, beatmaker, and would-be actor. And his Doomsday (Return of the Real) serves as a primer for 330 hip-hop -- loaded with up-and-coming producers including A-Hubb, Truescribe, MAPS, and Field One, as well as KC himself. Most of them work with keyboards, and all their tracks are dark and dirty. The Akronite also imports a track from Reason 3.0's DJ Babu to create the disc's standout track, "Nothin' Personal." With a beat that claps and bumps, KC brags about how he's about to blow up. It could happen.

Even when his tracks dig into some serious grit, KC's lyrics remain positive. "R.U. Serious" finds him leaving behind thug life and chasing love. He generally saves shout-outs for loved ones and friends, and issues cursory threats only to haters. Like most independent hip-hop, the tracks run a minute longer than they need to, but the disc captures the sound of the Rubber City's backstreets.

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