"I'm trying to go everywhere," Jared Young explained. "I think our last show will actually be on the moon."

"I'm trying to go everywhere," Jared Young explained. "I think our last show will actually be on the moon."

When Young unfolds his hopes for his rap group Alleyes Path, you get the sense he's not kidding about the lunar ambitions. Few men are more geeked about the thrill of creation and music's ability to bring people together.

Young was already rapping and producing under the name Path when he met rapper Michael Bridgmon, aka Alleyes Manifest, in January 2009. They immediately clicked, with Young's straightforward, rapid-fire flow complementing Bridgmon's densely layered abstractions.

"It's not like a lot of hip-hop groups where we grew up together and we knew each other," Young said. "The first time I hung out with Michael was the first time we recorded. We became best friends through music."

The duo quickly became one of the most prolific acts in Columbus, prodigiously cranking out recordings and performing for anyone who'd have them - everything from basement hardcore shows to club gigs opening for underground rap stars Busdriver and Eyedea & Abilities. Next weekend they'll appear alongside The Cool Kids and Blueprint at Hip Hopper's Holiday in Bridgmon's native St. Louis.

"Our goal is just to be for everyone," Young said. "You get stuck if you're playing for one person."

Last year Alleyes Path brought Dance or Die's DJ Self Help, aka Danny Johnson, into the fold after Bridgmon met him at a party. The "Thanks" EP, out this week, is the first Alleyes Path release to feature all three contributors.

It's also the clearest distillation of the trio's strengths and the surest evidence that they're achieving their goal of combining artsy, conscious and commercial elements into something uniquely stimulating.

Both rappers are in top form, painting vivid imagery against a constantly shifting canvas. The vocoder-coated club beat of "Night Drive" rubs elbows with the jazzy, Tribe-style sax breaks and shout-outs of "All Together Now." Johnson even sings the hook on one track.

"It's definitely not a lemon," Bridgmon said. "You will not have to take that s--t back."