51% Ovrim Lagur Lachem Ba'oznayim (Coming to Reside in Your Ears) (Fish-i/JCMHadrai Hakat) Two years ago rappers Taboo+, The Archive and Che joined forces with music producers Joseph and Shai Fishman to create the top quality hip hop collective known as 51%. While their name seems to be a bad reproduction of American rapper 50 Cent's moniker, this group is actually all about originality when it comes to their rapping beats. Their opening track, "Four Rappers" (Arba'a Rapperim), hooks the listener with its catchy tune and swift lyrics. The album continues to impress. The group, who say they have 50% passion and one percent sanity, rap about improving oneself and Israeli society ("Mabit Gavoha"), following dreams ("Kol Echad"), and about the declining state of hip hop in the country today ("Lama Tistom"). Perhaps their most hard hitting song is "Elohim Ma Asinu," a sort of apocalyptic song in which the guys rap about the world's evolution in weaponry from 1945 through to 2126. Though the local hip hop scene became oversaturated with rappers during last five years, 51% is one of the few groups that has the potential to survive. Apart from the talent they showcase in this collaborative effort, each of its members also works on solo projects. Fishman is a composer, musical director, and producer living in LA. Joseph is also a music producer, as well as the owner of JCM studios. His debut album is due out soon. The duo behind The Archive is working on a debut release as well. Che, who is known to rap about his social opinions (hence the moniker), is about to release a debut album onto the market. Taboo+, a rapper and visual communication design student, released his debut album in 2004 and is currently working on a sophomore release. With the combined skills of its members,51% proves that local-made rap can still be high-quality. It's good to see that the future of hip hop in Israel has a chance to right itself. HAPARVARIM (The Parvarim) Best of (NMC) On a very different note, the NMC record label recently released the best of The Parvarim. This 48-track double CD album includes folk favorites such as "Yesh Li Ahava," "Erev Shel Shoshanim," "Layla Layla," "Dvash," and "Isha Al HaHof." The Parvarim are one of the local song market's best known duos and have played a major role in shaping Israeli music. The first CD in this compilation features songs by The Parvarim's original line-up of Yossi Hurie and Nisim Menachem. The two met at a party in Tel Aviv in 1960. After jamming together, they realized they shared a special chemistry and went on to harmonize together for more than a decade. In 1977, Menachem became religious and left the music field. Guitarist Ori Harpaz took his place and added a Latin American vibe to The Parvarim's music. The second CD in this compilation traces songs from 1978 onwards. Also included on this CD are songs from The Parvarim's collaboration with Matti Caspi. Listeners will find it difficult to listen to this album and not sing-a-long. After all, The Parvarim, have been dubbed the Israeli Simon & Garfunkel. They are famous for their harmonious singing accompanied by their virtuoso guitar playing. The Parvarim's music is timeless and their musical arrangements continue to charm decades after they topped the charts.