Lexicon’s Nick and Gideon Black are brothers who consider themselves “nice guys.” In the bizness, nice guys rarely finish first.

With its first full-length release, It’s the L, the Southern Cali-based duo hopes to broaden its local rep and become “popular” nationwide. Shit … I remember what it was like to be 15, too.

I have heard worse beats than the simple, aggressive rhythms produced by DJ Cheapshot, yet it’s the sophomoric lyrical ability of “Nick Fury” and “Big Oak” that will disappoint the hip-hop thinking man.

The notable cut “Years and Years” has a more sophisticated, less annoying beat than others. Yet, as is the case with other tracks, the chorus kills it: “… let me hear you say fuck … that … shit / if you can’t deal … with … it!”

Fuck that shit is right.

What saves the album from being weaker than my biceps are the stellar appearances by Ryu and Takbir from Styles of Beyond, and the two beautifully produced tracks by Thes One, of People Under the Stairs fame. On “Nightfall” and “What Do You Take Me For?” the brothers convey their inability to pick up girls (because they’re too nice, of course). But these cuts sound more honest because the beats are more honest – aggressive beats do not necessarily fit with Lexicon’s wuss-ass style.

Don’t get me wrong. Thes One’s music is not wuss; even the venerable old Pope would sound dope rhyming over One’s beats.

The acclaimed “Nikehead” appears on the album – yet a song about collecting shoes depresses me. I hope “Fury” and “Oak” can someday find a way to thrive, but they must first escape lyrical puberty.

[Mr. Bell doesn’t like wack MCs]