A LABEL'S STABLE

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As Detroit continues to gain steam as hip hop’s next hot spot, its surrounding cities are ensuring that they catch some of the windfall as well. Ypsilanti’s ReAL Entertainment has as good a chance as anyone of gaining national recognition, with its recent signing of the Dirty Dozen and Five Ela, whose members include Proof -- winner of the Source Magazine’s 1999 MC Battle. But even before that ReAL was steadily carving out its niche over the past year. Evidence? This 10-track EP by PMC. P trades angry braggadocio and posturing with several MCs over head-nodding beats, proclaims his love for his crew, his superiority over wack rappers and mixes in a little social commentary at times. His roster of guests features a lineup of Michigan stalwarts such as the aforementioned Proof, S.U.N. and the Money Mogul, while even hip-hop pioneer Motski-Ski of Detroit’s Most Wanted makes an appearance on the underground hit "Judas." However, the deluge of guests keeps PMC from being able to carve out a clear-cut identity. Additionally, out of the 10 tracks listed, one is a freestyle by Proof and S.W.A.T. and four are essentially interludes, including one dedicated to shoutouts. As a result, the EP comes off as a promotional tool for the entire ReAL camp and not one particular artist. But in the spirit of Wu-Tang, that’s not necessarily a bad path to follow.

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