Play Havoc

All Rise (www.playhavoc.net)

Play Havoc TJ Maxx Jurassic 5 The Grog Shop Thursday, August 2
Most of the attention during Cleveland's recent hip-hop revival has been focused on artists aiming squarely for the mainstream. The trio Play Havoc, however, presents an old-fashioned aesthetic on its sophomore disc, a collection of old and new singles connected by the turntable work of DJ Sleepyhead.

Sleepyhead's dexterous scratching, combined with Play Havoc's serious-but-playful lyricism, makes All Rise sound something like an Ohio-bred Jurassic 5, especially on such soul-sampling gems as "Welcome to the Show."

"Ohio Stats" and "Hometown Pride" are convincing shout-outs to locals. The group's midwestern pragmatism, meanwhile, blossoms on "Oldtimers," an ode to financial thrift that name-checks TJ Maxx and boasts, "Let me refresh you/ I hit outlet/Get fresh and outdress you." It's almost worth supporting Play Havoc on the basis of that line alone.

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