Serengeti and Polyphonic

Terradactyl (Anticon)

Chicago's Serengeti & Polyphonic proved they work better together on their 2007 debut, Don't Give Up. Both were making waves as solo artists before the collaboration. Serengeti's genre-hopping rhymes on Gasoline Rainbows had garnered buzz, while Polyphonic's spacey Abstract Data Ark helped him land production work. Eventually, Don't Give Up caught the ear of Anticon's Adam "doseone" Drucker, who signed the duo for their sophomore release, Terradactyl. Like its predecessor, the new record is never short on weirdness. Polyphonic's progressive beatwork could work as the soundtrack to a science-fiction film.

From the first few notes of "Bon Voyage," you'll feel like you've warped to another dimension. On "Call the Law," they meld synthetic sounds with natural elements, sounding like a rap version of Dan Deacon. At first listen, Serengeti's flow recalls Kool Keith, but his lyrics go deeper — the disc's themes include homelessness ("Down Under the Bridge"), poverty ("Playing in Subway Stations") and love ("La La Lala"). For those who complain that rap has gone stale, Terradactyl proves otherwise. While Kanye West tries to take hip-hop back in time, S&P are moving us into the future.

Eddie Fleisher

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