I love hip-hop culture and music first and foremost, and when I popped in Hometown Hooligan’s Unfinished Business I was immediately drawn into their world. As I cruised around the Summit City the tracks seemed to provide a nice backdrop to the city’s vibe and energy.

I had seen the Hooligans live, so when “Move the Crowd” came on I was taken right to the stage. Moving forward through the album, I noticed that it was just that: an album. Cohesive pieces of work are too absent from the current musical landscape, and this is a step in the right direction. The album has plenty of “party” tracks such as the above-mentioned “Move the Crowd,” as well as “Optimus Rhyme” and “I Wanna Get Down” (a very dope hook). Other highlights include insightful tracks like “Daddy’s Home” and “Nothin’ Yet.” There is a “DJ track” that showcases Konfewshus’ skills on the ones and twos. He sounds more at home here than on the mic. The recording is nice and clean and doesn’t sound “local,” as a myriad of other local releases do. The packaging is precise and efficient, and the basics are covered so well I was glad to see I wasn’t drawn to exciting packaging to be let down by poor sound quality. Kudos to Konfewshus.

Lyrically all emcees possess their own style and voices, and I suggest you all look out for solo projects from Massakre and The Hydroponic Crew. While this album has plenty of strong tracks, it seems to stall a bit with “Bar Drunk Love” and the bonus track, “This Time Around,” which would fit better on an Uncle Kracker record.

With Unfinished Business on my player, I feel more and more confident that Fort Wayne’s hip-hop scene is as alive and diverse as the city itself. To properly appreciate this record you must see the Hooligans live. Count on tons of energy – and hot girls as well! If you’re looking for a record you can pop in and party to, but one that still has substance, then you need to head over to Wooden Nickel Record Store and pick up Unfinished Business or check them out online at www.myspace.com/hometownhooligans. I will be keeping a keen eye on these guys, and I suggest you do the same.