Two California hip-hop icons team up for this 16-track collaboration loaded with explosive, sample-based beats and potent wordplay. Muggs has been making hits forever; he got his start with 7A3 in the late '80s before providing classic soundscapes for Cypress Hill, Funkdoobiest, and House of Pain, among countless others. Planet Asia emerged from Fresno in the late '90s and has been going hard ever since, releasing dozens of projects as a solo artist and a member of multiple crews. Pain Language finds them sharing the stage with other likeminded mike-rockers, including B-Real, Killah Priest, GZA, Chace Infinite, and Sick Jacken. As always, Muggs' moody tracks deftly balance funkiness and soulful melancholy, grimy yet catchy at the same time. Asia's razor-sharp lyricism continues to impress; though he remains steadfastly indie-minded, he's still at the top of his game. Check out "Black Mask Men," "Deadly Blades," and "Black Angels."