It's been nearly three years since Bay Area avant hip-hop threesome cLOUDDEAD sailed their debut full-length, inflaming message boards and backpacker discussions as fast as fingers could type. With their second LP, 'Ten', MCs Why? and Doseone with beatrinarian Odd Nosdam evade the tendrils of desolation that curled around the last record by riding portly vocal harmonies, distracted poetry and wickedly tailored beats into sophomore maturity. While there's a more comforting melodic cohesion on this album, the hovering sadness hasn't disappeared completely. Instead, it has touched down, hardened slightly around the dogs, death, bicycle physics and soldiers delivered in fast raps, rhyme trade-offs and startling samples. With a style practically poised for degeneration into novelty, the group displays its musicianship and artistry and wades further into its own personal hip-hop/ not hip-hop landscape.Quality.

The liner notes suggest this is the last cLOUDDEAD album. True?

Doseone: It's really hard to explain why this is the last record. Ok, I know this one. The skin that separates Yoni [Why?] and Dave [Odd Nosdam] got really thin and sick, and they were not really diggin' each other. And really the driving force of the dissolution of cLOUDDEAD is that everyone has a very full page in front of them at this very moment, and for us to work on cLOUDDEAD we have to completely detach ourselves from what we think and work on the cLOUDDEAD sound and headspace. I think that the three of us can definitely cup magic in our hands a little bit and you don't come by that in lifetimes of living. So, I think that there will be a return to what's worth it about the three of us working together.

Why did you choose to print the lyrics and cryptic liner notes?

Since cLOUDDEAD is such process-oriented music and we let it come to us as opposed to chasing it down the street, those liner notes are absolutely necessary. I think the test for our writing is that it is spoken and written, and not just that it jives to the beat. Plus there's something about the amount of intense emotional blow-ups that we had over this record. It's nice to either get a passive-aggressive pot shot in those liner notes, or come clean and be honest about how we all felt at those moments.


Mush Records