Hard luck and an apparent paucity of resources prevented Patterson Projects-raised battle rap titan Percee P from releasing his debut album until this year, though he's been freestyling and dropping guest verses since the early '90s. Perseverance combines aggressive, up-tempo verses — the kind that would serve as ammo in a schoolyard cipher — with gritty, garage-funk beats by Stones Throw producer Madlib. Featuring cameos from Diamond D, Chali 2Na, Prince Po, and Aesop Rock, the album successfully imports gangsta bravado into a backpacker template.