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Longtime followers of D.C. underground hip-hop might remember Dirty Water, the super-lyrical duo of Akil Nadir and Joe.D. They were MCs before rapping was fashionable here, before folks from D.C., Maryland, and Virginia started calling the region the DMV.
Things have changed for Nadir and Joe, although they’ve stayed in the mix. Joe.D. now lives in to Atlanta, and is a worthwhile producer shaping Gods’Illa‘s nostalgic sound. Nadir has been a bit more low-key, quietly releasing music on his Bandcamp page.
Released Thursday, Philosopher King is Nadir’s third mixtape, and it’s full of the cerebral lyricism that’s been his calling card. On “No. 21,” a nod to late Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor, Nadir is downright piercing. “Okay, hater, yes I guess we lil’ long in the tooth, still strong in the booth/What’s wrong with the youth, their music lack impact, my word attack’ll pimp smack ya syntax.”
Philosopher King is free. Kevin Nottingham has the download. Listen to “BANG!” below.