label: ocean
includes: prophetix, doujah raze, mr. supreme, al tariq, funk daddy, krumb snatcha, mr. dog, mac money, rock, divine mc, storm the unpredictable, starchile, others.
year of release: 2004
1. Wojack "The Beat Box"
2. Prophetix "T.U.G. (True Urban Grit)"
3. Doujah Raze "Irish Cream"
4. Mr. Dog feat. Mac Money & Young Have Not "Get It Craccin"
5. Splitt "All Day"
6. Strik & Krusal feat. J1 "So Freaky"
7. Mr. Supreme feat. Al Tariq "Run The Show"
8. Redskin feat. Krumb Snatcha "Run The Show"
9. Mz. Tasti "Hey You"
10. Ab Normal "I Can't Do"
11. Funk Daddy feat. Willin "Makin Moves"
12. Knowa Lazarus "My Vida"
13. Divine MC "So Beautiful"
14. Storm The Unpredictable "Contradictions"
15. Bill Yuns feat. Mycle "Bread & Meat"
16. Black Caesar feat. Rock & Supreme "Set Trip"
17. Nokturnal & Li Fee "Seattle Holla"
18. Starchile feat. Bleek "Afta Party"
19. Skundtdunanna feat. Wanz "All I Got"
Ocean Records gives us a respectable effort: they put together a compilation of artists from all over the USA. There's NYC, Boston, Atlanta and Seattle, but also Tacoma, Washington D.C., Daytona Beach, Rialto, Croydon and Tulalip. It moves safely from one place to the other, from one style to the other, and amongst a lot more, this compilation really shows how different rap sounds in the year 2004. With all these differences, the compilation risks to always alienate one fan base, when a different sub-genre is playing. But instead it hopefully bridges the gap between one group and the next. Heck, we're all in the same gang, right?
Then again that was a westcoast project. Although plenty on here are from the westcoast too. North West that is, as places like LA and SanFran are confidentially ignored. Instead Tacoma, Seattle and Portland do strong showings. What is easily explained though, considering where the label is from.
Mr. Dog (read review one and review two) teams up with Mac Money and Young Have Not. This Bow Wow Records exhibition called "Get It Craccin" has either seen several moons come and go, or the styles have not changed. A notion that's repeated with "Hey You" by Mz. Tasti, from Rialto, CA. Lyrically she posses quite a presence though, and when the beat is blown up for the hook, it sounds better too. Now compare the two previously mentioned songs to a Funk Daddy featuring Willin and their "Makin Moves". The Funk Daddy song does not invent much anew, but this song is sticking to funk and leaves much of that glistening glitter away, what's only for the better and for the good.
The next showing from Tacoma is "So Freaky" by Strik & Krusal feat. J1. The lyrics are nasty and with the crooning, the flute creative artists introduced years ago, this song is aiming straight into the core of mainstream heaven. The keyboards reign supreme on "Bread & Meat", a self explaining song by Bill Yuns featuring Mycle. The explanations make sense, even though they should probably not be that self righteous and excusing. Also from Seattle is Nokturnal and Li Fee, but they sound totally different. Their beat on "Seattle Holla" is darker, grittier, but none the less appealing. The contrast is added by Starchile feat. Bleek and their rather good "Afta Party" as well as the smooth "All I Got" by Skuntdunanna feat. Wanz. Again the rapper explains himself, and we understand.
Further we also get some cross coast collaboration. The first is Mr. Supreme's team up with Beatnuts' Al Tariq on "Run The Show". The beat is severely grooving and we nod our head like a woman when you ask her if she'd like a pair of Prada shoes. Unfortunately there's no production credits on this record, cause we'd quite like to know who did this beat. Redskin (Tulalip, WA) teams up with Krumb Snatcha (Boston, MA) for "This Goes Out". The lyrics are hard and threatening, while the beat is very minimal and empty. And finally there's Black Caesar teaming up with Rock and Supreme from the Boot Camp Click for "Set Trip". Unlike the other two songs, this beat is sticking in the Tacoma area, but they cross the continent with the rhymes. And then the song suddenly gets a couple of notches louder? What's up with that?
As for outside the North West, there's an ATL showing by Prophetix. They do "T.U.G. (True Urban Grit)" off their "High Risk" album (read that review). Moving to the north, there's Splitt from Croydon, PA, and he does "All Day". This song is actually one of the nicest on here. The beat is universal and the serious and inspired lyrics say a lot in a nice form. We stay in the neighborhood for Storm The Unpredictable's rap game analyzing "Contradictions" (from Oxon Hill, MD; read his review) and Ab Normal's "I Can't Do", who's hailing from Washington D.C. This song sounds desperate for better mastering, what would give it needed bigness. What's unfortunate, because the conscious lines and the cool beat sound very promising. Considering the sound quality, we enter the same problem with Divine MC's "So Beautiful". This love balled again lacks in crispness, but still shines with a seriously solid showing of rapper and producer. Queens, NY gets a track with "My Vida" by Knowa Lazarus. This cat has been reviewed before too (read the review) and he still sounds like an underground cat shamelessly trying to do commercial music.
As said, there's many styles. But that has to be a strength and not a weakness. Sure, and this is so often neglected, rap has split up into so many subsections, it's not like '88 anymore, where a rap fan could like everything that's out. Nope. But you also don't expect a Bon Jovi fan to like Linkin' Park. Same in rap really. Nevertheless, this is a good reminder that it's all still rap. And understanding and cross communication doesn't hurt. That's why this is an appreciated contribution.
review: tadah
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