The Psycho Realm
's eponymous debut album is an impressive collection of hardcore West Coast gangsta rap. Led by B Real
, one of the masterminds behind Cypress Hill
, the trio is a dark hardcore outfit -- there's genuine menace in their rhymes and music, which is why it hits so hard. Where other crews deal with cartoonish violence, the Psycho Realm
's surrealistic imagery and impressionistic music -- which is still grittily funky -- creates genuine tension. It's not a perfect record -- it runs on a little too long, which has the unfortunate side effect of dulling their message -- but it tries more things than the average hip-hop record, and that alone makes it worth a listen.