Over the course of the last several years, Has-Lo and Castle — both producers and MCs — have been quietly turning out a string of uninmpeachable hip-hop records, most of them for the excellent Arizona label Mello Music. Has-Lo’s 2011 record In Case I Don’t Make It was a hidden gem, a collection of dusky beats an artful, narrative lyrics. And Castle’s Gasface was a similarly-thrilling collection of beats and rhymes. The duo teamed up for a re-imagining of that record entitled Return of the Gasface, but the full force of their combined talents are even clearer on the first single from their forthcoming collaboration Live Like Your Dead. Over a limber, funky production, first Has-Lo then Castle take turns at the mic, weaving between the beats the way only seasoned, skilled MCs can.
[Has-Lo and Castle's Live Like Your Dead will be released on July 29 on Mello Music]