BEST HIP-HOP DJ (2005)

Abilities

The best-named DJ in town proved on last year's E&A (with perennial cohort MC Eyedea) that the national attention that comes with national distribution (via Epitaph Records) doesn't have to stunt your growth. Abilities and Eyedea both came into their collabo from successful runs on the battle circuit, only to strike that balance between idea and ability that labelmates Atmosphere keep talking about. The left-brain/right-brain conflict comes to a head on E&A, and the duo actually works it out. To advance the metaphor: it's all cerebellum, baby. For Abilities, that means flexing his mixmaster muscles in subtle and appropriate ways, a welcome relief from other hot-rodding battle DJs who'd scratch a track till it bleeds before sharing the spotlight. Apparently Abilities doesn't have anything left to prove, and for that, we'll gratefully recognize his superhuman DJ skills. It was a no-brainer, really.

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