Aggressive tone and tag-team rhymes. That is the first thing I think about when I listen to Styles of Beyond. Production on Megadef comes courtesy of hotshot nobodies Cheapshot and Vin Skully, who craft a hard-hitting collection of rock-influenced beats (the skuzzy, Iggy & the Stooges–looping “Be Your Dog” and the excellent Bob Marley–based “Mr. Brown” are highlights). The precision of these guys is amazing.
Ryu, know as the "ranch dressing" of hip-hop for his ability to bring flavor to anything, shines on "Pay Me". Known for lightning quick cuts, Styles slow things down on "Pay Me," decrying how greedy promoters anticipate free gigs. Glossy baselines populate another standout, "You Lose," where rhymers Tak and Ryu trade language with charisma rivaling Jay-Z and Snoop Dogg. Rocking retro, "Eurobics" goes strong with an agile resuscitation of electro-rap. And Ryu summarizes their current state on "Live Enough", "We changed for the better and got back together".
Takbir is one the most on-point rappers in the game today. A modern day Rakim in that every syllable hits the beat perfectly, he never lags or slurs his vocals like most other rappers who lack control. Just listen to his verse on "Pay Me" where he starts rapping double-time and tell me that isn't impressive.
This is a big improvement over 2000 Fold. A big criticism of this album is that they try to be too "gangsta". As far as this album being more gangsta; the only change is Ryu rhymes harder. Listen to "Bleach" where Ryu starts rapping in an Irish accent. That's not gangsta, that's fresh. And Takbir still has the same abstract style he had on 2000 Fold, he hasn't changed a bit. On "Eurobiks", he says he's got a "fascination with the Human League". How is that gangsta? That's like Ice Cube rapping about how much he likes Erasure. On the same track Ryu boldly makes references to Depeche Mode and Wham. Where I come from that is NOT gangsta.
These guys are a rare commodity. They rap hard, but they rap well. These guys are two of the greatest lyricists I have ever heard. One the most impressive things about this album is that it manages to be catchy without being poppy. You will definitely be singing along with most of the tracks. This is a must own for underground fans.