Ben Hameen, Bambu, J-Mil and DJ Creashun return on Collective Efforts’ third LP. “Sit back relax and let the CD play/This is an introduction to the CE way/The way that we live, the way that we stay/Dedicated to the rhythm and the music we make…” Collective Efforts’ “Medicine” unfolds like a back-porch cookout – It’s all love and respect, the grill’s fired up and the keg is tapped, members of the extended ATL indie Hip-hop family are on their way over for a session. The album’s twenty songs (18 listed + two “hidden” tracks) smooth out the listener’s rough edges and deliver the remedy suggested by the title. On “You May Not Know,” Root makes her debut, simpatico over the blowed, Andre 3000-influenced verses of MC Trip (Rising Sons). Her hook guides the listener through verses about the struggle to be truly free, resolving harmoniously over verses by the Collective MCs. CE mentor (former Massinfluence MC) H2O joins Ben, Bam and J on “I Feel Free,” dropping elder-statesmanlike raps on the topic of self-awareness over snares and piano samples. MC Wyzsztyk of Psyche Origami makes an appearance on “Can’t Take That Away,” kicking off the track with world-weary, ‘still-cooler-than-you-are’ rhymes about what’s real and what’s fade-away. (“…just give me a shot and a beer/see we’re on the open road but just not in the clear/We can talk biz, dog, just not in my ear…”) “Civilized Dreams” introduces young DJ Amdex (Clan Destined/Vinyl Junkies) as guest turntablist and brings more reminiscing from Mil, Hameen, Bam and H2O over shrill violins and syncopated percussion. Rising piano notes argue back and forth with screeching, brake-like cuts from DJ Creashun. “Easy” brings the listener into CE’s creative process, showing Hameen’s gift for crafting a monster hook. Long-time CE collaborator MC Grip, six foot nine, weighing in at a buck fifty, drops country verses on “One Through Six,” (“one for the highs, two for the lows, three for the feelin’ in your soul, four for the people that ya know, five for the ones that survived, six for the ones that you miss…”), the album’s most reflective track. ArcTheFinger Records’ newcomers Intellekt & Dirty Digits pour themselves a brew and then proceed to show and prove, letting the party people know what they’re about on “All The Time”.