Shortly after west-side hip-hop heavyweights Twista and Do or Die dropped “Aquafina,” the first single off their collaborative EP, Withdrawal, I told a friend the track sounded like the 90s. The tune glides on a dainty keyboard melody, gentle finger snapping, and subtle synth squelches, all of which effectively evoke bold velour sheets and candlelit soft-focus lighting ripped from a mid-90s R&B video. With the exception of a few moments that take me out of the song’s mood—a Lady Gaga reference, the line “ate her like a Combo”—Twista and Do or Die sound like they’re in their element.

On the bulk of Withdrawal, which Twista released through his GMG label, the MCs are in prime battle mode. Tracks such as “Run Dat” and “Intro” feel more like battles than songs edited for mass appeal. These rappers perform as if they’re trying to one-up each other out of the pure enjoyment of going head-to-head—in particular “Intro” feels like a race, with MCs dropping bars so fast the speedy beat can’t quite keep up.

Mostly, it sounds like Twista and Do or Die legitimately enjoy sharing the microphone and working on new material. The reunion and nostalgia fevers that grip pop music have helped produce a surfeit of ill-conceived old-school reunion projects, particularly in the last decade. Withdrawal is a clear nod to the force Twista and Do or Die exerted over Chicago hip-hop in the mid-90s, but thankfully the EP isn’t hamstrung by the past.

Leor Galil writes about hip-hop every Wednesday.