I’m all about innovation in hip-hop. I don’t think we should be chained to production and performance tropes, and I find the divide in tastes emerging between the last few generations disturbing. That being said, I love hip-hop that is rooted in the elements that brought it to the status that it has achieved today, and it’s apparent that Secret Levels feels the same way. The Game is Never Over is drenched in the boom-bap aesthetic, and while dropping tons of homage to days past, the album never sounds dated. Think Ugly Duckling with a bit more bite to it, or a linear evolution of what Pharcyde was doing. Period point blank, this is an album that should be in your rotation if you care at all about supporting the Austin hip-hop scene, because this is high quality work.