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Type 4, ‘Written in Red’



No album that contains a cover — credited to the original artist, mind you — of a Jungle Brothers song could ever be confused with anything other than old school, and it’s doubtful that the members of Type 4 have any objection to that label for their new LP, “Written in Red.” And why would they? The trio of rapper Tommy Williams, producer Matt Reyes, and DJ Bill Lerardi have been active in the local scene for over two decades, in case you didn’t glean that from them name-checking Edo G and Almighty RSO on the autobiographical title track. Enjoying “Red” ultimately hinges on your appreciation for sample-patchwork beats and punchy b-boy rhymes, but Boston boom-bap aficionados will find plenty to like here. The aforementioned Jungle Brothers cover “Dirtneck” is an unabashedly fun record, while the bluesy
piano stomp and jerky flow of “Skinny Fat” channels an early Beastie Boys sound. Williams is at his best on “Tommy O’Deed,” on which his slow flow bounces along like Southie’s answer to Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story.” And despite the huge tonal shift, the sobering father-son chronicle on “Old Man” shows that the group has grown up, even if its sound remains blissfully in the past. (Out now, available on iTunes)

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ESSENTIAL “Tommy O’Deed”

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