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CD Review: Mr. Invisible's It's On Us 

Independent; Release date: July 7, 2012

It's been close to three years since Charlotte hip-hop duo Mr. Invisible has released an album, but It's On Us fills that void. Comprised of five quick-hitting tracks, the nearly 16-minute EP showcases the group's old-school style and high-quality production work. On "Just an Example," Mr. Invisible uses back-and-forth rhyme spitting by MCs Aswell and Ill-Use on top of a thick-and-gritty guitar riff to set the album's tone. The duo offers a bit of a chest-thumping diss track with the title song, giving warning to any weak competitors — "You're given the seven same inches, sucka I ain't playing/ saying nothing in particular, breakin' like a vehicular accident/ we're rappin' before you even knew what happened... Try as they might, they still bite the dust / you'll never get past the likes of us."

"Gimme a Break" is driven by a bass riff as Aswell's low tone brings a sauntering style a la Big Daddy Kane. "The Heist" is reminiscent of the Beastie Boys — check out Mr. I's "Sabotage"-like video on YouTube — but set apart thanks to its high-speed lyrical approach as Aswell and Ill-Use rap with precision through staccato patterns in the vein of Outkast. The only thing lacking on the EP is the jaw-dropping visual aspect witnessed at live shows when Ill-Use and Aswell use Maschines to create their sonic backdrops ... That, and more songs.

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