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18 Scales of Justice

"Leave It All Behind" is a grade A effort from 18 Scales

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    NEWSLETTERS

    18 Scales of Justice
    Arash Afshar
    18sense (pictured left) and Ric Scales (pictured right) collaborate on new 18 Scales release, "Leave It All Behind."

    It's spring again, and musicians who took cover inside studios during the wet winter months are emerging from their cocoons with new material. At least, that's what Vista beat maker 18sense and rapper Ric Scales have done, releasing their latest "Leave It All Behind."

    There's a bit of Detroit in it, that Slum Village swing circa "Fantastic, Volume 2," as Scales -- with his conversational timbre and east coast accent -- unravels raps so sleek there's the impression he could go on forever.

    And it seems so effortless, the way he breezes over beats, because his bars are easy to digest: "need disc jockeys, jocking my disc / word to Kay Slay / on tour rocking three months straight / that's a va-kay / cats don't like me but, I'm a --- ma-zing." They're intricate but not too complicated -- a sophisticated delivery tempered by an off the cuff feel.

    That's just half of it though, because the other half is a bed of lush production courtesy of 18sense. His sound is signature, so you know it's him, and that's a good thing. But what's most impressive is that he avoids repetition. So, while he may have a certain attack, his beats aren't by rote -- they're not formulaic.

    On "The Hold Out," he manipulates a bass guitar into a sober head nodder. It's the only instrument he uses, but it's hard to tell because the song feels full, offering up all sorts of different frequencies. There's the funk infused "Neighbors" with its sliding groove, while the laid back piano keys on "Peace n Me" highlight 18sense's other talent: rapping. It's a pinch of this, a smidge of that and it all makes for an awesome grade A effort.

    So here's to hoping that "Leave It All Behind" is the beginning of a long and creative partnership, 'cause lord knows we can use more of this.

    J. Smith, aka 1019, is a San Diego native, rap fan and one half of the rap duo Parker & the Numberman.You can follow him on Instagram at 1019_the_numberman or on Twitter