Back in 1998, when the hip hop independent 12″ trend was still relatively young, and I could afford to spend money on records I had never heard before, I came across “Return” from Self Scientific. Although it was my first listen to the group, it was its second single. What I heard sent me on a trip back to my first hip hop experiences of Public Enemy and De La Soul. This was the conscious, energized rap that I had all but given up for dead. And it felt better than ever.

Back in the present, Self Scientific has finally released the full-length The Self Science, and the scope remains close to what "Return" showed three years ago. Emcee Chace Infinite might be the most honest mic controller in hip hop, as he paints vivid pictures of the ups and downs of his Los Angeles home town. "We All Need," "Murderation" and "Dead Honest" are pleas for an end to the violence in the streets from a voice in the midst of the action, while "Love Allah" (featuring Krondon) and "The Best Part" are celebratory songs of praise for his city’s culture. DJ Khalil completes the picture with his beautiful blend of beats. He often utilizes murky keyboards in his production, creating dark soundscapes for Infinite’s sincere rhymes.

The Self Science is a welcome breath of fresh air into the often diluted lungs of hip hop. Self Scientific has succeeded in returning the art back to its conscious state.