“How the f*** am I supposed to spark this?”

Hide your implements of combustion. Dilated Peoples’ Evidence, the sticky-fingered lighter thief has struck again. He rejoins Iriscience and Babu for the new LP Expansion Team, the second release from Dilated Peoples. The trio features major league artists on Expansion Team that reflect its rightful status: Tha Liks, J-Rocc, Rhettmatic, Melo-D and, from Roots crew, Black Thought. You like what these guys do? Then you’ll like what they do here.

Taking a step up from the foundation they established with their debut album, Evidence and Iriscience bring together conscious underground raps with content and style (damn, even a to-da-izo-to-da-izay-rap fan would appreciate). The samples carrying the high-end melodies in these songs are funky and keep it fun. It’s party music, with the added bonuses of conscious rap and Babu’s cut-clean roughhousing on the turntables.

Tracks with titles like “Worst Comes to Worst,” “Panic” and “War” suggest a far darker tone than the Peoples have cast before. The beats are hardcore, and the raps are a little darker in theme than, say p-diddle’s video of riding Zapp scooters around his new affluent neighborhood. But at the same time, the album abstains from the route of Eminem’s particular brand of, well, whatever you call the anger of Slim Shady.

Get up, go sell a gram off your sack and pick up Expansion Team … and an Abba-Zabba. You need some new hip-hop … and a new black bic. I just stole the one in your pocket.

[Eric “Mo” Lister does not sleep in the same place twice.]