Veteran Detroit hip-hop fusion collective, Of Mice and Musicians, have released their second full-length LP, Sugar in the Raw. It's a fifteen track record that is the group’s most polished and prevalent work to date. It has been four years since their last release of Bottles and Bones, but they have come back stronger than ever.
Strolling through the album, it is impossible to try and put a label on the music. Much like their past works, Of Mice and Musicians likes to keep you guessing. As always, leading is the lyrical hip-hop tandem of Benjamin Miles and Tony Bags. Adding to the ambiance are several other influences and sounds that resonate through the record. “Simplest Things,” show the band's ability to slow down and emotionally captivate the listener. “Lou Dobbs,” is a poignant and pointed track that reveals the political plight that is prevalent in today’s society.
Furthermore, the record is laced with several instrumental tracks that show the evolution and maturity in the band's production level. The band recorded the record at the emerging Detroit studio Assemble Sound produced by resident Seth Anderson. Anderson has been a prominent beast in the studio for several Detroit artists; therefore, the decision to have him produce the record made the most sense.
It is said that the band recorded the record as if it were their last. As much as I hope this isn’t true, you can hear that this is the intensity and precision of which the record was recorded. Maybe it was the success outside of music that has inspired this release. Whatever it was, I'm happy Sugar In The Raw was able to grace our ears.