Release Date: Apr 6, 2004
Record label: Capitol
After years of scowling at each other across ideological battle-lines, independent and mainstream rappers have reached a detente. The chief peacemaker is Kanye West, hip-hop's latest star. On his debut-album, College Dropout, he boasted: "I'm the first nigga with a Benz and a backpack." So it's no surprise that he makes an appearance on Neighbourhood Watch, LA trio Dilated Peoples' bid for platinum success.
If there was some truth to the claim that Dilated Peoples were at the top of their game when they released The Platform in 2000, it began to slip away with the next year's Expansion Team, and, at the rate things are going, will soon be clearly false. They've never done anything revelatory, really, but in the past their strengths have outnumbered their faults. MCs Evidence and Iriscience have relatively interesting flows to make up for their forgettable lyrics and stage presence, and Alchemist's sharp melodic production and (World Famous Beat Junkie) DJ Babu's scratches often help salvage the rhymes.