Under the Massinfluence

These cats have popped up everywhere from the documentary Open Transport to a feature on MTV, and from concert halls all over Europe to the aisles of Fat Beats downtown, straight doing it for the ATL worldwide. Since 1997, when the one and only Massinfluence dropped its first single, "Life to the Emcee" b/w "Under Pressure," these brothers haven't stopped to look back. Through Massinflu's dynamic company, Nonstop Musicworks — a record label, website, event marketing and promotions team and even a clothing line — the foursome keep it under control. Along the way, they've become a cornerstone of Atlanta's underground hip-hop culture, fulfilling what group member Audessy calls the crew's mission, "To influence or be influenced by the masses." Now, the crew — Audessy, Cognito, H20 and DJ Spearhead X — have grown into veterans of the game, with a chemistry many groups lack. And that's what makes their new full-length LP, The Underground Science (Boulevard Connection/Nonstop Musicworks), a true pleasure to hear.

Remaining true to the art, Massinfluence's trio of vocalists floats effortlessly over beats, feeding your mind while moving your behind. Check tracks such as "Fraudulent" to sample their trademark combination of intricate production and conscious flow. Meanwhile, a joint like "Massmatics," which features guest Big Von, exhibits the Mitchell Street Crew's ability to get it hype while still managing to say something.

If The Underground Science isn't enough to cure your Massinfluenza, these seasoned mic technicians also have several 12-inch singles worth tracking down. Their latest, "Analyze" b/w "All Out," features turntable maestro Mr.Len of Company Flow putting in serious work on the ones and twos. And unlike most previous singles, neither of these songs is on the LP. So you can bring the record home and impress your friends with some science that's even more underground than The Underground Science.

Massinfluence perform at the Masquerade, Wed., Aug. 30.