Currently billed as a precursor to the “official” new Themselves album that is to appear before the year’s end, the rejuvenation of his pioneering outfit that is heard on theFREEhoudini already feels like a mission accomplished.
Ultimately, this is the most potent fuck-you that Themselves could give to the thoughtless body of rap that casts their shadow: undeniable greatness in the form of progress that doesn’t look back once it has torn free from its material limbs.
Although theFREEhoudini won’t have MTV calling or cause die-hard fans of a Busta Rhymes or a Jadakiss to check Themselves out on tour, it will satisfy the duo’s following and provide a taste of what’s to come on their upcoming album, "Crownsdown."
Frenetic, mercurial, and of wildly variable listenability, theFREEHoudini feels like a retrospective and a retrenchment of forces, but it also serves as yet another step in Anticon's breathless, never-ending push forward.
Though the quality on theFREEhoudini is extremely variable, fans of underground rap will likely find little to complain about, and even casual observers of the movement will be able to find several undeniably impressive songs.