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This Bay Area hip-hop duo, comprising MC The Gift Of Gab (Tim J. Parker, USA) and DJ Chief Xcel (b. Xavier Mosley, USA), has attracted the same attention as the members of the east coast-based Black Star crew for their promotion of a new conscious rap agenda. Gab and Xcel debuted in 1995 with the acclaimed Melodica EP, setting out their stall on cuts such as Rhymes For The Deaf and Swan Lake. Plans for a full-length follow-up were put on hold as the duo concentrated their energies on setting up the Quannum label with compatriots DJ Shadow and the Latyrx crew, with whom they had previously recorded for the Sacramento-based label Solesides. A 1999 album, Spectrum, was released under the Quannum moniker, setting the scene for the release of the A2G EP and the duos long-playing debut. Nia pursued the same themes as the earlier release, attacking the gun, drug and sex culture of gangsta rap and promoting a new adherence to the...