Album: Med

Push Comes to Shove, STONES THROW
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The Independent Culture

Hailing from Oxnard, a town midway between Santa Monica and Santa Barbara, the rapper MED - it's short for Medaphoar - has previously only appeared on a few singles of his own, and chipped in guest raps on albums by the likes of Quasimoto and Madlib. With Push Comes to Shove, he attempts to give some impression of a life split between smalltown scuffling and the big-city bustle of Los Angeles. His verbal attitude is perhaps best suggested by the way "seriously" is rhymed with both "curiously" and "mysteriously" in the opening blast of "Serious", while his methods are indicated in the dope anthem "Never Give Up", where he admits, "Don't forget what I told you/ When I smoke to write/ I'm writin' something niggas can smoke to". The concerns he covers are mostly familiar, but there's another level to MED's rapping, discernible in the whirl of fractured syntax and baffling imagery ("vernacular half-tarantulas", anyone?), one that seeks a degree of transcendence beyond the brutal realities of everyday life. Equally questing are the beats and grooves built by J Dilla, Oh No and especially MED's buddy Madlib, a series of freakish constructions in which electro burps and buzzy synth lines collide with eerie strings and tootling woodwind.