No MC is truly complete without a trusty DJ minding his back. On The L.J.‘s, the Likwit Crew‘s Defari and Beat Junkie and Dilated Peoples member DJ Babu mingle their specialties: pointed lyricism and nattily constructed beats, respectively. Defari‘s intellectually leaning verses are bolstered by Babu‘s varied beats, from the fuzzy key tickles of LJ‘s “Anthem” to the bebop chops of “Brother.” A hefty 17 full tracks might intimidate some, but Defari keeps things interesting by diversifying his topics; Cali gets bigged up on “Salute,” cautionary tales are kicked on “Change,” and crooked cops are scorned on “One Time.” The occasional instrumentals Babu tacks onto the tail end of tracks are a nice touch. Like the LA river, the LJ‘s are deep, broad, and flow ruggedly through an urban landscape.