includes: cali agents, rasco, jean grae, phil the agony, planet asia, thirstin howl III, brisk one, others.
year of release: 2004
1. Intro
2. Cali Agents "Let's Get It On"
3. Chuck Taylor "Get Done"
4. Mikial "Just Like That"
5. Prophet "Hustla"
6. Rasco "From The Ground Up"
7. Jean Grae "It's A Wrap"
8. Interlude
9. Phil The Agony "Everything"
10. Concise Kilgore "Underground Ways"
11. Planet Asia "Respect My Team"
12. Aarophat "Ohio Streets"
13. Trunks feat. Thirstin Howl III "Old English"
14. Brisk One feat. Ebay Jamil "Minority Report"
Rasco is at it again. He's not one to rest for too many months at a time (if any months at a time), and so after last years "Escape From Alcatraz", the Cali Agents project since then, he's now back with a compilation to promote himself, his label and some known and unknown artists for good measure. All in all on twelve songs, what's rather on the measly side of things. However, it's all about the songs, not the number of the songs, right? Right.
Rasco is not one to stray away too far form his formula. That's why his Cali Agents track "Let's Get It On" sounds like Rasco, but also like every other rapper who does braggadocio tracks over bouncy beats. If there wasn't the voice and if there wasn't his nack for getting a couple of better-than-your-average-dude lines out. And what's good for Rasco is good for Planet Asia too, who declares that if you chat with him, you "talk to a criminal that's never been locked". All of it over a rather calm beat, that features nice layers and quite a plush cushion. The second song with Rasco is "From The Ground Up". And he promises a story on the struggle, to then latch into a story of his biography. Cause even though his career might look quite ideal - releasing his first 12" that's immediately considered a classic, backing it up with a dope album - it also includes the chapters of label issues and the ever so present feeling of him being under appreciated. That's something that runs through his lyrics quite thickly: the-people should-love-me-more sentiment. With songs like this, he can expect us thug hugging him, but this is no bear hug, my friend.
Planet Asia returns on "Respect My Team", and he actually has a similar story with label deals gone bad, etc. Why did they go bad? Was he not commercial enough? Maybe. Even though he really tries to be commercial on this song, with simple lyrics, and a 'please, please play this in the club' beat. The result. Bearable. That is if we're not demanding too much. More interesting is Phil Da Agony's "Everything", mainly due to the beat. It's a continued roll of waves and weird singing over it. This is sounding kinda hippy or from a Spaghetti Western. Whatever it is though, Phil adapts his flow to it, making it a dope song and the best so far. Earlier on, we were treated to a Jean Grae song "It's A Wrap". Treated because Jean is always a pleasure to listen to, even though she has picked many questionable beats lately. This beat here is monotonous, but okay. She on the other hand is just a damn good emcee. Finally on the 'known' tip, there's Thirstin Howl III as a featuring on Trunks song "Old English". The beat has a certain feel good vibe, and the braggadocio rhymes sound all the better for it.
The rest? Well, all not-so-knowns. So it's Chuck Taylor doing "Get Down", which has nothing to do with the Craig Mack classic, features however a different previously used sample on a solid beat. While Chuck follows the Cali Agents formula. Which actually pretty much goes for the whole compilation, cause there's not too much conscious material on here. Nor is it on Mikial's "Just Like That", which struggles from Mikial either not having the strongest voice, or didn't yet get the 'mastering' treatment. Plus his flow is with gaps. "Hustla" by Prophet is spit over a jazzy beat, and you wanna hate it, especially as Prophet has a strange spoken word flow, but nevertheless, this song is kinda good.
The "Interlude" features one of the nicest samples, again going the 'Spaghetti Western' or 'French Erotic Movie' route. Even though it's looped a little badly. This takes us to "Underground Ways" by Concise Kilgore, more hard rhyming over a kinda hard beat, before Aarophat sounds good, because it's 'mostly about the voice' and he has an ill one. The beat, again using a known sample, works too, and so the story telling elements make "Ohio Streets" another one of the best songs on here. And finally, there's the title track "Minority Report" by Brisk One and Ebay Jamil. Ebay Jamil; Eisberg Jay? Please excuse my lauging. But anyway, the song is actually pretty nice: Brisk One did a really funky beat, which should be played at a club. Ebay however is as disappointing as getting out bid on ebay.
So all in all, this does exactly what we could expect from it. Rasco and his team will ride this style into the sunset. With a couple of really nice songs, and the other ones really doing this style well, all the fans will be happy, and the others will probably not bother to pick it up anyway. What, I guess, is the way things go.
review: tadah
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