October 19, 2004
Cornerstone RAS
Rap, Underground Rap

Album Review

Los Angeles has spawned its share of cartoonish hip-hop acts. If it's not Cypress Hill's heavy metal stoner crunch, than it's the Pharcyde's Fat Albert roller coaster. Shapeshifters trump them all, allowing their cover art and comical dress to splash onto the records themselves. As the polka jump intro announces, "Shapeshifters raise their battle to destroy the evil forces of the Raplicons." But at nearly 80 minutes, it can't be all guffaws. "Run the Crowd" is a classic posse track, with a wicked little guitar lick to set it off. And it balances off "Pindar," written entirely from the stance of the alien leadership. "Circuit City" lifts a classic Eddy Grant moto-rev while "We R the Dinosaur," with its female backup chorus, could be the B-side to Parliament's "Atomic Dog." "Kreye Inn" finds the Shapeshifters traveling back in time to save Motown, while "American Idle" parties on the beach with Billy Ocean. Producers LA Jae and Life Rexall effortlessly hop genre boundaries while main MCs Circus and AWOL One flow cleanly, leaving room for guests like Slug and Pigeon John. Not exactly an L.A. supergroup, Shapeshifters are more like a secret Stonecutters society, causing mischief and staying buzzed as they clown around, yet few notice that they also run the whole world.
Joshua Glazer, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. More Then Meets the Eye
  2. Message 4 Yer Planet
  3. Run the Crowd
  4. Pindar
  5. Tabasco
  6. Circuit City
  7. Rockin' These Mics
  8. Listen Up (Interlude)
  9. Psycho Stick
  10. Little Life
  11. We R the Dinosaur
  12. Domination
  13. Quit Your Job
  14. Yum Yum
  15. Kreye Inn
  16. Futuristic
  17. Kinda Like
  18. American Idle
  19. Take Me to Your Leader
  20. You Know You Want It