Portland, Oregon-based hip-hop group Lifesavas have a lot riding on the CD they released just last month, Gutterfly, which is the follow-up to 2003's Spirit in Stone. Not to worry — the powerhouse trio absolutely delivers, taking a route no one ever could've expected. Instead of doing one of those overtly “conscious” hip-hop records that just don't hold up over time, Lifesavas gives us a well-planned and executed concept, creating the “sound track” to an incomplete blaxploitation flick. The movie and its plot line and characters are the creations of Lifesavas' Jumbo the Garbageman, Vursatyl and Rev. Shines, who each play out glorified, gun-toting, hustling roles on the mike (showing us their darker sides, which we've never seen before). The album is a slab of prowling funk, so it's easy to imagine a pimp pumping this in his Caddie. Unlike other MCs who play their crowds like puppets, a live Lifesavas experience has an energy that's absolutely electric. And with the new Gutterfly fictional flick as a framework, the ampage should be considerable.
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Travis Ritter