New York producer and MC Von Pea kicks off the full-length debut from the hip-hop trio Tanya Morgan
by saying, "The last time Brooklyn and Cincinnati got together, a classic was made. We've got some big shoes to fill." The reference is to Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek's 2002 release, Reflection Eternal
. Big shoes, indeed, and for the most part, Moonlighting
fills them. On opening tracks "The Warm Up" and "We Be," Von Pea and Cincinnati MCs Ilyas and Donwill bounce off one another effortlessly, displaying the chemistry and comic timing of esteemed acts such as De La Soul and Little Brother. As the album progresses, the trio takes a humorous approach to various hip-hop styles, from the disco-laden club thumper "Take The L (Get It)" to the reggae-flavored "Just Cause I Got Locks." A few jokes fall flat, including the Dirty South satire "Rough U Up," but Moonlighting
proves to be a funny and creative effort.