Shifting Gears

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap; Producer (group): Hollywood

Mashing up Metallica, Run-DMC, and Midnight Oil, Z-Trip’s underground mixtapes are fiendishly clever collages that connect the dots between neck-snapping hip-hop and headbanging rock & roll. But on his first ”official” album, the Arizona-bred DJ’s talent doesn’t survive the transition from the subculture to the studio. Aside from a few standout cuts like the frenetic Jethro Tull-sampling ”Take Two Copies,” Shifting Gears is just a grinding mix of dated rocktronica beats and anonymous retro-rapping. He should go back to the underground.

Originally posted April 18 2005 — 12:00 AM EDT

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