Neat-o rap hipsters, N.E.R.D. responsible for 2002 release, In Search Of… on Virgin Records., lead an experimental excursion through rap core, soul, and trip-hop; this album reeks of soul, it bleeds funk. Rarely can one find such a thorough blend of whimsy and prowess in the ways of rhyme, ranging such topics as strippers (Lapdance), being “the shit” (Things are Better), and overcoming a coke addiction (Provider). And that’s just the first three tracks. In Search Of… has more heart than the more Kid Rock-ier versions of rap-core that have emerged in recent times. Cleverly written and mixed with precision, N.E.R.D. exhibits intelligent, testosteronal soul. Picture Shaft passing a love note to Hulk Hogan during Philosophy 101. It’s that overall feeling set against backbeats and mean guitar riffs, serenaded by a motley barage of vocalists. N.E.R.D.’s In Search Of… is music make love to by, music to loot liqour stores by, or if nothing else, music to kick back by. Those of eclectic taste, take note.