RHYTHMICRU Open Canvas (After Midnight) Rating: NNN
This tight little album has all the values of indie rap down pat: get high, rep your city (Toronto!), rhyme for passion not profit, scratch in some old KRS and/or Nas for the hook, know it's OK to be a white rapper if you sincerely love the culture, and hold off on the keyboards. Open Canvas's organic, sample-based beats are nice but so mellow and soothing that they're enough to make a head fall asleep. It is, however, impossible to sleep when 'Cru get pissed. Facts Of War (Part One) isn't just aggressive; it's probably the most incendiary anti-George W. track ever created.