The label name Mello Music Group rolls right off the tongue, but I was far from “mellow” after word leaked that (the real) MMG signed a two project deal with legendary emcee Big Pooh (of Little Brother fame). (Back flips are apparently a lot more difficult than they look on television; learn from my failures.) To celebrate the partnership, the label and artist have released Juk, for free download, because why put price on quality, charismatic hip-hop? Setting the stage on this substantial effort is Duke Westlake, who cooks up a triumphant beat driven by a super chopped, vibrant sample. Though he is excited to prove he belongs, Big Pooh lets Stik Figa hop on the mic first with a powerful, gravely flow. The Virginia native waits his turn, and then promptly eviscerates the production with his signature, commanding, assertive flow; this is a match made in heaven. Be on the lookout for both MMG/Pooh projects; the first is a collaboration with legendary producer Nottz and will be released this summer.