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Haiku d'Etat
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (15 March, 2000)
list price: $19.99
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Editorial Review

Haiku d'Etat is a hip-hop revolution from within. With a combination of lush live instrumentation and lacerating lyrics, they're refreshing like a cool glass of lemonade. Longtime Los Angeles MCs Aceyalone and Mikah 9 (of the fabled Freestyle Fellowship) and Abstract Rude (of Abstract Tribe Unique) are among the best in the biz, flipping effortlessly from abstract poetics to battle rhymes, altering their cadences with ease, and generally ennobling the microphone with their superior skills. Yeah, MCs talk about sex all the time, but when was the last time a rapper was actually sexy? Mikah 9's raw, rapturous rhymes on "Pro Tool Robots" are. On the outstanding "Los Dangerous," Haiku d'Etat kick outlaw flows over a percolating, sax-laced beat. They make fun of rap's screw-faced status quo at the end of "West Side Slip and Side," then return to their laid-back selves on the cheeba-laced Bob Marley remake, "Kaya." Instead of getting mad at the state of the hip-hop nation, Haiku d'Etat defy the mind-numbing norm with their dangerously good music. --Lizz Mendez Berry ... Read more

Reviews (14)

This is probably one of the most classic albums that came out under the nose and it definetly should be repressed. It is great, and I would definetly recommend it. ALSO it is a little jazzy so if you don't like hardcore underground rap and some jazzyness it might not be the best for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars An amazing find
Both spontaneous and finely crafted, this album can only be described as the hip-hop version of a jazz jam session. I took a chance on it, having never heard of the album in particular, but with a good general knowledge of the emcees and an affinity for hip-hop with live instrumentation. What I got was a front-row seat at a dark, smoky, afterhours lounge and the chance the bear witness to hip-hop at its rawest and in its purest form. Each emcee proves that the voice is in fact another instrument, using unique pattern and pace in their rhymes, and the improvisational vibe harkens back to the jazz of Miles and Coltrane, with each verse the modern version of their sax and trumpet solos. A truly unique album that captures a specific time and space and saves it, so that everyone can feel a part of it.

Full disclosure is that I do skip some songs, but the ones I listen to more than make up for it. Highlights include Non Campus Mentis, Studio Stage Street, Wants vs. Needs, and Still Rappin. "Wants vs. Needs" is in fact a profound indictment of consumer culture ... check the chorus: "getting the things that you want/ versus getting the things that you need/ tell me how bad do you want it/ and tell me how much of its greed."

All in all, I can't recommend it highly enough. When I pull out examples for my grandkids of what the essence of underground hip-hop was when I was young, this will be among the first albums that I grab.

5-0 out of 5 stars This Album is Classic
This album is straight sick, west coast underground, classic!... If you like groups like Hieroglyphics, Swollen Members, Jurrassic 5, or just underground hip hop, get this album. It is hella dope! ... Read more

Asin: B00004SYV4
Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rap & Hip-Hop   

Code Name: Scorpion
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (07 August, 2001)
list price: $16.98 -- our price: $16.98
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Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars could be better
beats are pretty tight,and naturally the lyrics by 3 westcoast kings are tight as hell

5-0 out of 5 stars Greatest Compilation Combination
"Well who are you? Im the one that they call A-B. And do what? Step to me you'll be O-U-T."

Before I got that I had only heard of Prev from Swollen and Moka as featured on the first Battle Axe compilation. I showed a friend of mine my 2 Battle Axe CDs and he set me up with this beauty and Bad Dreams (before they added "Bring it Home" and ruined it by reproducing the "Fuel Injected model" of song production). I popped Bad Dreams in right away and put off this one until I was bored and popped it in my discman.

"Well who are you? Im the one P-R-E-V. And do what? Step to me youll lose your J-O-B."

I was blown away by the tracks at the beginning and the end of the albums. The middle lags a bit but I can see the attempt at CRAPPY experimentation. At any rate, it is all forgiven by the end of the disc. The 3 minds at work on this disc flow and intertwine so well that on my favourite song that I have been quoting all along ("Antz out of a Job") has all three of them on every chorus basically completing a single idea as one mind.

"Well who are you? Im the one M-O-K-E. And do what? Step I'll crush you like an A-N-T."

A must buy for anyone loves 2 or more of these artists individually.

5-0 out of 5 stars You've been Stung by the Scorpion!!!!!
...She's Always Right is one of my favs on this album. This album produced by Moka Only and Rob the Viking and Paul Nice is a heavy hitter no more little leagues for these guys...Moka Only also a talented artist puts in just the right amount of umpf to take this album to the limits it deserves. When you hear Jampacked or Get Stung you will understand what being a Scorpion is all about and the fact all three of the main artists are all "Scorpios" it gives it a sound like no other hip hop album to date..If you haven't heard this album go out right now and get it you will not regret it and you'll be hangin on every word waiting for the next track to play.... "And ThatYou Can Quote"..........Moira ... Read more

Asin: B00005MKGX
Sales Rank: 61631
Subjects:  1. Alternative Rap    2. Pop    3. Rap & Hip-Hop    4. West Coast Rap   


Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (16 October, 2001)
list price: $16.98 -- our price: $14.99
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Abstract is one smooth, cool MF!
This album is a joy to listen to, let me just first say that.Ab has a style all his own and the listener really gets into his music.His voice is deep and gritty and the Cali sound that infuses this album is really cool.In fact, that one word is what describes this album, cool.Laid-back cool.The producing is smooth and easy and the lyrics are strait to the point at times and chill at others.Overall, this album is very refreshing, light, and jazzy.In other words: it bumps!!!I would suggest this album to anyone who is sick of all the stupid rap that is going on nowadays and is looking for something stimulating and cool.

5-0 out of 5 stars perfect blend...like V8
this album has the perfect blend of everything. i love the mellow sounds of jazz and blues that it mixes in with hip-hop. everything fits to that nice mellow sound of true black music...MASSIVE amounts of heart and soul. that's what i respect most about abstract rude, this album has a lot of heart in it. i love the sound of music that has any relations to Sam Cookie and his era. this album mixes some of the tunes and jazzy music from it. every track is deep and prolific on it's own. and then when abstract comes in, he just kills the song. his flows are awesome, his deep voice just towers over you and makes you feel smaller than you really have to. but that's a good thing given his rhymes, he's deep in his own terms. what he says comes clean indefinitely with his voice. get this album if you're searching for some down-tempo, mellow, jazzy sounding hip-hop. this is the album that opposites any nelly garbage.

4-0 out of 5 stars True L.A. Undergroud
This album is worth buying. The beats and lyrics are pure genius. The most popular track (Stop Biting) is a real piece of work. Rob the Viking did a really dope job on it. What I like about this CD is the many different styles Ab uses. What I dislike however, are the collaborations. Don't get me wrong, Busdriver, Aceyalone, LMNO, and all them are cool, it's just that Ab didn't really get a chance to shine on his OWN album. All in all this is really a great album. This CD defines the meaning of true L.A. underground ... Read more

Asin: B00005O6NK
Sales Rank: 54645
Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rap & Hip-Hop   


Lime Green
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (10 April, 2001)
list price: $11.99 -- our price: $11.99
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Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars Green Sounds From A Not So Green Artist
Do you like underground/alternative hip-hop music that brings a fresh sound to the table? If you answered yes to that question than this is a release for you. Comepareable to the likes of the Hieroglyphics crew, the Spooks, Jurassic 5 & Aceyalone, but with a unique sound all his own comes Moka Only of the Swollen Members crew, straight out the left coast of Canada. Now most Canadian rappers aren't known for consistent quality and proficiency in releases but Moka delivers both with this almost his 20th release. Consistently coming out with hot music year after year whether solo or in a collabo, continuing with this release. For those not familiar with him he gains the title of "the Canadian Common" because of his similar vocal style and self reflectiveness. Although Common is a great hip-hop artist Moka is more "complete" being able to rap, sing and produce all with great outcomes. As Moka says in his linear notes this album is mostly a synthetic sound, with most tracks lead by key board grooves. Moka handles the production duties on half the album while the rest is done by underground alike-minded producersthe likes of Paul Nice & Ron Contour. They all develop a consistent sound that is funky with creative keys, syrupy and bumping bass, complimentary backing beats and other interesting elements. Now I'll talk about some of the tracks...

Magnitude ~ One key thing to an album like a good story is the opener. "Magnitude" does it's job setting the sound with the mid-tempo synth keys and builds upon sparse bass & jazzy percussion for this particular track. The hook throughout the song as well as many others on the album is Moka only using his sing-song vocals. What sets this hook apart is some distortion effect that makes him sound extra spacey and blunted. Fantastically placed song

Not The Man I Used Know ft/ Sun Spot Jonz ~ This song features the first guest on the album inBattle Axe Warrior and Living Legends crewman, Sun Spot Jonz. This song is great to me because of the fast pace set by the drum, bass and Moka's speeded up delivery to catch up with it, showing that Moka can diversify his flow. Topically this appears to deal with the two reflecting upon personal progression and dealing with one's own change through time and sometimes catching your self and not recognizing who you've become, but when they say it doesn't sound as lame. The production again provided by Moka, contains the usual piano loop but with cuts thrown in and synthesizer in the background to add that little extra something.

Invisible ~ My favourite song on the album. Short but sweet. A beat by Ron Contour based around throbbing syrupy bass & keys with a vibraphone sound interjected. The topic matter deals with Moka's love of music and reflection on the hip-hop game. Using the best catchiest hook on the album sung by Moka:

"/although you can't see it, but you know it's there cuz you feel it/
/although you can't see it, but it feels so good and you need it/"

Crunch ft/ Mad Child & Prevail ~ This is basically a Swollen Members track. If you do not like the group you probably won't like this cut. The production by Paul Nice is some of the darkest on the LP, but keeps within the core sound. It helps incorporate Perv 1 & Mad Child's use of dark imagery along with Moka's laid back vibe. It's another key laced beat but full of weird background noises and the keys are more deep and pounding. It is essentially a posse cut with battle rhymes in full effect.

These are the cuts that are most interesting to me but there is plenty more great songs with funky beats, bomb diggity rhymes and kool guests. Those looking for fresh sounds check this release and others by Battle Axe Records. 3 stars nothing ground breaking but definatley head nodding.

5-0 out of 5 stars great
a laid back moka masterpiece definately up there with his other great albums like mount unpleasat, everyday details and road life

a classic feelgood album also peep ab rude and j5 for more stuff like this

5-0 out of 5 stars Canadian but not BAcon
TIGHT TIGHT TIGHT...This album is on par with all the feel good albums of all time.. and the guest spots are all on point here.. Moka is workaholic.. and he puts it down in every phase of the Hip-hop game.. Writing< Producing, MCing..he does it all.. and his Beats are ill too..not too bad for a man and his keyboard and beat machine.. GO MOKa GO MOka GO!!..Yeah i lke this Joint and all you heads out there Please Smoke some of this..

you'll be glad you did..

Tight tracks ..aka My Faves.. are "expedition and "Rolling Along" with Abstract RudE... ... Read more

Asin: B00005AVJH
Sales Rank: 152256
Subjects:  1. Hip-Hop    2. Pop    3. Rap & Hip-Hop    4. Underground Rap   


Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (28 September, 1999)
list price: $15.98
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Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars Close to perfect.
Man, this is just tight.From start to finish.Not one bad song on here.I probably sound the same compared with my other reviews when I give it a five star rating, but that what I think of when I hear albums like this.Every song was tight.I hate to mention favorites, considering everysong was better than anything being played on the radio at that time, minus Pharoahe Monch's Simon Says, even that song isn't better than these.Production, A+.Lyrics A+.Lyrics of fire, lyrics of destruction.Beats that are all pure and just get my head nodding.A lot of them sound a little eerie, which is great.Some have that Dilated sound, since Ev is on the production, and Battle Axe Experiments, wow!!!, I play that song over and over and still keep noddin. The collabs was nice.From Everlast (before he totally fell off and became country), Evidence, Divine Styler, Del the Funky Homosapean, Son Doobie, aggh, the list goes on, it's that tight.Pick this up and there Bad Dreams Albums.THose are what this group was about.Not there new crap.Get this.This was when they had fire, this was when they were about hiphop.

4-0 out of 5 stars Balanced Greatness!
During the late 90's-early 00's, Battle Axe Records has become the biggest independent Hip-Hop label in Canada and a pretty damn respectable label in all respects. It has released solid albums from the likes of Son Doobie of Funkdoobiest, Abstract Rude, LMNO of The Visionaries, Buc Fifty, Sweatshop Union, BrassMunk, Mr. Brady, Shabazz the Disciple, Moka Only (Swollen Members), Sunspot Jonz, Perfect Strangers, and more. Yet the disc that started it all was by MC Prevail 1 & MC/Label CEO Mad Child as the Swollen Members (later Moka & Rob The Viking would be added as well). Their debuts album features production from underground heavyweights like The Alchemist,Evidence of Dilated Peoples, Kool Dj. Eq, & Del Tha Funkee Homosapien as well as label stalwarts like Kemo, Zodak, Paul Nice and Joey Chavez. There was also cuts by some of the worlds best in Mix Master Mike & Kut Masta Kurt and others. As well as guests from Dilated Peoples, Everlast, Divine Styler, Saafir,Del, Aceyalone, as well as others. But above all that what about the group members? Well you have Prevail who has a mid-range tone not to deep and not too high or scratchy real nice to listen to, as well as being able to quicken his speed of flow during his duelling of fierce battle rhymes, with lyrical style for miles. Now Mad Child is another story he has a sort of a white-snoop delivery which sounds very creepy sometimes, which goes well with the over all eerie tone of this record, now lyric wise it's debated over which of the two is better but I have to say Mad Child comes with whack lines on occasion but makes up for it other times. They have crafted here an alt-rap album full of dark mythical imagery with a brooding feeling yet not hardcore like most dark rap albums which are horror core. What lacks a bit is the hook department which would be a little nicer on the ears to have better ones but they make up for it with the top notch production and interesting rhymes throughout with a solid vibe with no time wasted for filler just straight ahead quality hip hop. Now I'll talk about tracks songs I found to be the most interesting on the album....

Ground Breaking ~ This is the opening track to the album, produced by to me lesser known beatsmith in Kool Dj. EQ, it basically sets the setting for the rest of the album using quick start stopish percussion, a low-key rapid piano sample with the main "groove" created by some disembodied monkish chanting, for me Mad Child stands out using imagery like Witches, Labrynths and various dark otherworldly things and the hook is tight referring to nightmares which is the spooky effect this album leaves you with, great opener breaks the ground perfectly.

Strength ~ Then comes my second favourite track on the album, produced by The Alchemist it has fast more prominent keys and the drum and bass is more pounding along with some background atmospheric noises to flesh out the dark sound even more, I feel though on this track Prev comes nicer on the mic and his delivery suits the beat more than Mad Child.

Counter Parts ft/ Dilated Peoples ~ A nice posse cut with Swollen sharing the mic with Dilated Peoples, my favourite piano loop on the whole album due to it's simplicity, heavier bass than a lot of tracks on this disc compliments the background noises interjected well as well as the piano loop, All the Mcs work well but Dilated outshines Swollen on their own track, oh well still an awesome joint.

Left Field ft/ Del Tha Funkee Homosapien/Unicron ~ Changing up the dark pace of the album comes Del. Lending the beat which is a very fun/happy type beat with flutey sounding sample and some vocals I think and some grimy drums and liveish bass. Mix Master Mike does some nice work with distortion as well. Del, Mad Child & Prev all drop solid verses but what really makes this track stand out is it has Del performing a verse in a character called Unicron which is his voice sped up and he comes of extremely tight at first I thought it was a new rapper which got me a little more excited but Del is and always has been a master on the mic

Those were my personal fav's but the rest of the album has plenty more imaginative beats and fresh lyrics and flows. All in all a great alternative to mainstream hip hop and also an alternative to hardcore underground or more "soft" alt-rap artists so they bring a really unique flavour.4 stars! So go out and support some Canadian boys!

5-0 out of 5 stars Real underground
I know everyone else has just raved on about this disc, but its well deserved. I originally picked up the original powder blue/white version of the album, but that got jacked so i can't rock the original style anymore. This is hip hop. No matter what everyone says, this is the album to get. Deep End was Sic, slightly more rebuffed, MiC had moments of mainstream, and, unfortunately, Heavy, the newest one is straying even more from the path into the overworld. This album, however, has got strait up some of the tightest production and rapping ever. Prev 1 is one of the best MC's I've heard in awhile. Pair that with Madchilds writing converted to rap and you've got yourself a a disc you will not bring out of your player. I hate to end on a down note, but Shane and Jake have got to get back to this style, no offense, but drop Moka, he's got his own style, its different than S&M's, and keep rocking it live . Peace ... Read more

Asin: B00001QEOJ
Sales Rank: 34950
Subjects:  1. Dance Music    2. Pop   

Bad Dreams
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (13 November, 2001)
list price: $16.98 -- our price: $16.98
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Editorial Review

There's no shortage of bad dreams on this follow-up to Balance, Swollen Members' full-length debut (and indie-hip-hop success story). Take, for instance, "Anthrax Island," recorded pre-September 11, 2001. It's not enough that the narrator is on said island--he's a cannibal, too! The title track is just as scary, thanks to producer Alchemist and some spooky keyboards. But Bad Dreams isn't all doom and gloom, as the Vancouver act's Mad Child and Prevail take on such topics as cross-border rapping (in "RPM") and the virtues of late-night recording ("Deep End"). The two have plenty of help, particularly from the Dilated Peoples crew--MCs Evidence and Iriscience and DJ Babu contribute to a number of tracks, including "RPM" and "Full Contact." Other guests include DJ Revolution, who contributes some thrilling turntable action to the Snap!-sampling "Take It Back"; Rattlesnake Jones (you've gotta love that tag); and Chris Guy, who adds extra spice to the flamenco guitar stylings of "Snake Bite." But Mad Child and Prevail really prove their flow on "Ventilate," which finds the MCs trading insults in an electric, funny dialogue and the ultracatchy "Fuel Injected." The meditative "High Road" wraps things up with Zen-like calm, and hints at even better things to come from this rock-steady West Coast hip-hop crew. --Shawn Conner ... Read more


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Reviews (34)

5-0 out of 5 stars Impressive
About 3 1/2 - 4 years ago I discovered Swollen Members. Being the typical 7th grader I was, I wasn't interested in music that much if at all. When I first heard Fuel Injected on the radio I was entranced. Let's just say music has been important to me since that moment.

Out of all SM's CDs, Bad Dreams has been definetly the most impressive they've built a solid fan base because of this recording.

They are also amazing live, mhm.

Pick up the CD, it's well worth it

4-0 out of 5 stars Great album
This album is HOT!! Heavy was a bit better, but all the Swollen's stuff is worth picking up. Mad Child is fun to listen to, and Moka Only is a savage.
And for the record, Kevin Barker, you mentioned only on band with a person who can do anything except sing exceptionally well, that being Led Zeppelin with Jimmy Page. You neglected to mention bands with actually talented musicians, like The Pppers, RATM, and Dire Straits.

5-0 out of 5 stars Listen Carefully!
Whoever thinks "Deep End" is about suicide should really listen carefully to the lyrics.Whoever thinks MadChild doesn't listen to bars should consider that maybe MadChild doesn't give a [damn] and considers that his style.I love Bad Dreams as well as every one of my Swollen CD's.Each MC's style is unique:Prevail is brainy.MadChild uses ancient and fantasy based ideas.Bad Dreams is the cd that you pop into the cd player in your car during a long midnight highway drive.Excellent. ... Read more

Asin: B00005R5DH
Subjects:  1. Alternative Rap    2. Pop    3. R&B/Soul    4. Rap & Hip-Hop    5. Underground Rap    6. West Coast Rap   


Monsters in the Closet
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (12 November, 2002)
list price: $16.98 -- our price: $16.98
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Reviews (23)

1-0 out of 5 stars please skip
Monsters in the closet is by far their worst album ever. It sounds like they took their old tracks, put them in a blender, and put them back together without the instructions. Please skip this album, but if you must have swollen members, which I think is a bad idea entirely, pick up balance or bad dreams.

2-0 out of 5 stars Terrible.
I remember waiting months on end for the release of this album.

The day it was released, I bought it. Took it home. Put it in my CD player, and it was horrible right from the start.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Creative
That is not how I would usually describe a rap album, but I must for it is just that: very creative and original. They were just playing it at a records store and I took little notice of it at first; then I heard "Rockapella" and was imediately impressed. Upon furtherlistening I found out that these guys are more comparable to Jurassic 5 and not Eminem (idiot, looser, jerk, fool). Great catchy rap music. ... Read more

Asin: B00006RG7K
Sales Rank: 102969
Subjects:  1. Pop    2. R&B/Soul    3. Rap & Hip-Hop   


Defenders of the Underworld
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (17 April, 2001)
list price: $16.98 -- our price: $16.98
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Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars Plodding Production, Boring Lyrics
Featuring Kool Kieth, Del, Aceyalone, and the Arsonists, among others, I thought this album might be ok.

"OK" about sums it up.The beats are pretty repetitive and most of the songs consist of simple loops.Kool Kieth and Aceyalone tracks have the most interesting lyrics and are the best in my opinion, but they def don't carry the whole thing.

I can see why some people might like this, but I'm more into interesting production (IMHO) from guys like El-P, Shadow, Automator, Blockhead, and Amon Tobin to name a few.If you're really into those guys' work, this album might not be for you.

Don't buy it unless you want to buy my copy from me ;)

4-0 out of 5 stars BattleAxe Yes.. more hip hop
I love Non Phixion ..tight tight tight..and they need to come out with an album..Im predicting one soon.. But As fars as Hip-hop compilations go this is a GOOD one.. why?? you say well.. the best from the North, EAST, and West are on this Album.. Swollen Members... Dialated Peeps..non-phixion..Buc Fifty..LMNO.. etc etc.. all on this Comp.So if your a fan of hip-hop..Not rap then get this album ..But heck they are calling everything hip-hop these dayze..and its a shame.. get this album if your a fan of good Music with phat beats and tight a$$ lyrics..


5-0 out of 5 stars Great Compilation of Underground Talent
I was lucky enough to find this compilation on great-sounding vinyl, but it's worth the cash on any kind of plastic. This is a compilation of mainly Battleaxe hip-hop artists and some other good underground acts. The artists featured are: Non Phixion, Buc Fifty, Swollen Members, Defari, Psycho Realm (B-Real from Cypress Hill), Moka Only, Kool Kieth, Dialated Peoples, Pep Love, The Arsonists, Del, Son Doobie, Mr. Brady feat. Evidence, and Aceyalone. I would have to say EVERY track on this CD is quiality underground hip-hop to knock your socks off. Battleaxe records is one of the best upcoming hip hop labels, and this is a display of thier best talent. If you are a fan of artists on labels like 75ARK, Quannum/Solesides, Rawkus, OkayPlayer, Ninja Tune, this is great comp to get you into the Battleaxe label. While I'm here, I must reccomend Swollen Members full length LP "Balance", which is one of the best hip-hop albums I've ever heard.

Long live the REAL hip hop, don't expect rappin' about "if you wanna roll with me in my Escalade, drink some Crystal, call up my hoes and get it on dil the break of dawn!" from any of the artists on this album, this is the real thing, with beats to match! ... Read more

Asin: B00005BC61
Sales Rank: 137483
Subjects:  1. Alternative Rap    2. Hip-Hop    3. Pop    4. Rap & Hip-Hop    5. Underground Rap    6. V/a Compilations    7. West Coast Rap   


Mind over Matter
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (06 June, 2000)
list price: $17.98
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Editorial Review

Innovative and engaging, Zion I's Mind over Matter succeeds because of its impressive conceptual execution. The Bay Area trio of Zion, Amp Live, and DJ K-Genius set the tone with the old-school energy of "Revolution (B-boy Anthem)," reawakening hip-hop's subversive impulses. Spiritual--not economic--uplift is the focus of this album, and Zion's meditative lyrics deconstruct materialist craving ("Venus") and deliver stream-of-consciousness musing ("How Many"). Zion I avoid being overly earnest, tossing in no-frills bangers ("Critical" with Planet Asia), and also tastefully embrace drum & bass on the previously released single "Inner Light" and the soothing instrumental "Metropolis." This versatile and progressive musical ambience, courtesy of the knob-twiddling of 418Hz Productions, mirrors their lyrical tone, serving up a nourishing blend of beats and rhymes. --Del. F. Cowie ... Read more

Reviews (33)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hypnotic.One of the most complete albums I own.
Zion's thoughtful and crisply pronounced lyrics blend surprisingly well with an otherwise fundamental hip-hop/electronic production by amp live and DJKG.Speaking strictly from a listeners perspective, I listened to this for the first time while I was driving at night, and I found the smooth baselines overwhelmingly hypnotic.There is a lot of complexity and attention paid to the lead instruments as well.I think almost any music lover, regardless of their attitude towards hip-hop in general, can find a way to enjoy what this album has to offer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic ? I think so.
I have become so familiar with this album,it's like an old pillow.Always waiting to make you feel better and relieve tension.Ok maybe not but it's dope nonetheless.Some people are complaing about his voice,I like it,that's who he is.Would you rather him sound like everyone else?I would'nt.I've never heard anyone complain about em's voice and I think his is pretty annoying.There's a diversity in the production you don't get many other place,most notably the drum and bass/jungle influence on songs like "Elevation" and "Inner Light".If that does'nt get you just check out "Silly Puddy" and " Trippin" and you should start to understand.Then buy it,then go see them live.You'll look cooler in the eyes of your peers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic ? I think so.
I have become so familiar with this album,it's like an old pillow.Always waiting to make you feel better and relieve tension.Ok maybe not but it's dope nonetheless.Some people are complaing about his voice,I like it,that's who he is.Would you rather him sound like everyone else?I would'nt.I've never heard anyone complain about em's voice and I think his is pretty annoying.There's a diversity in the production you don't get many other place,most notably the drum and bass/jungle influence on songs like "Elevation" and "Inner Light".If that does'nt get you just check out "Silly Puddy" and " Trippin" and you should start to understand.Then buy it,then go see them live.You'll look cooler in the eyes of your peers. ... Read more

Asin: B00004T210
Subjects:  1. Club/Dance    2. Hip-Hop    3. Pop    4. Rap & Hip-Hop    5. Underground Rap   

Stay Human
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (15 May, 2001)
list price: $16.98 -- our price: $14.99
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Editorial Review

There aren't many hip-hop artists out there today who give adamn about putting positive messages in their music, but Michael Frantiis one of them. Ever since his days with seminal group Disposable Heroes ofHiphoprisy, Franti has infused his sounds with insightful andthought-provoking lyricism, and this latest Spearhead joint is noexception. Stay Human tackles, among other things, the subjectof capital punishment. Through a make-believe community radio station,Franti tells the tale of Sister Fatima, a healer and activist who isbeing put to death for a crime that her community believes she didn'tcommit. The "live" broadcasts act as elaborate skits between Franti'sinsouciant, soul-rap hybrids and help to expose the arrogant nature ofAmerica's judicial system and the brutal finality of the deathsentence. Musically, Franti has created a richer, more string-ladenbackdrop for his tracks, creating some of his best idiosyncratic,feel-good vibes to date. But while the funkadelic edge of "Rock the Nation"and laid-back ballad style of "Do Ya Love" are worthy in their ownright, Franti's real genius lies in his ability to weave opinions intocompelling narratives so that we don't feel we're being battered overthe head with someone else's ideas. Emotive, soulful, and opinionated,Spearhead are almost single-handedly keeping alive a traditionepitomized by Curtis Mayfield,Marvin Gaye, andBill Withers.Don't sleep. --Paul Sullivan ... Read more

Reviews (37)

5-0 out of 5 stars "Stay Human"--One of my top 10
This album has to be the best that Michael Franti & Spearhead has put out so far....

The music: the band is very musical and pulls in lots of different influences that combine together in a completely original way: hip-hop, jazz, african, rock, spoken word, etc. Every time I listen I hear something new.

The lyrics: As I was an English major, lyrics are very important to me. Franti writes great lyrics-- he is an intellectual poet as far as I am concerned, and you can hear his skill in lyricism come through on tracks like "Speaking of Tongues" and "Skin on the Drum."

Political Message: Franti's political message is to spread tolerance and love. Some of the tracks are explicitly political, such as "Oh My God," while others are just a wonderful celebration of life. It's a good balance.

The only thing that gets a little annoying after you listen to the album several times is the radio show that shows up between most of the tracks. It's a great political message, but sometimes you just want to listen to music and not get preached at. That shouldn't deter you from buying this great album, though.

Great CD!!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Music with heart
Although I loved the Disposable Heroes and I think that Home is a fantastic album I stayed away from this album for a long time. I had heard that Michael Franti had lost it - that he had crossed the line from pointed political and social commentary into buttock clenching political correctness and cliché.

Nothing could be further from the truth - this is a wonderful CD. Yes, there is a message but Franti manages to get his point across while making an excellent CD. Great songs in a variety of styles are interspersed with radio segments describing the lead up to and the aftermath of the execution of an innocent woman. There are no duff tracks or off-key moments.


5-0 out of 5 stars Franti's Great American Opera
Stay Human is about as operatic a work as we've heard from any 21st century contemporary artist.Franti lets loose and through the guise of pretense of a dramatic play occuring at a radio station we are introduced to a group of characters including the two radio talk show hosts, Sister Fatima, the "Governor" and a host of listeners - liberal, conservative and brain dead, calling to weigh in on the fate of faith healer Sister Fatima now on death row and facing imminent execution that same night.

Woven between scenes at the radio station Spearhead's songs are brought to life that emphasizes Franti's message in a manner which could only be hinted it without the dramatic structure surrounding it.

The first time I heard this album was late on a hot summer night, on the back deck of a friend's house.He didn't prepare me for what I was about to experience and at the end of "Skin on the drum" I was emotionally exhausted with chills down my back and the hair on the back of my neck standing on edge.I'm not ashamed to say I also cried.This is music presented in such a powerhouse of a theatrical production it should be staged or filmed.As it stands, its effectiveness is not diminished one iota by being "audio only."

While some may eschew the socio/politico commentary embedded into the work, no one who listens and experiences it in its entirety will go unmoved, or turn it off free from thought.For these very reasons "Stay Human" is one of the most important works and deserves a wide audience. A truly remarkable achievement from Franti and Spearhead.
... Read more

Asin: B00005BGUT
Subjects:  1. Alternative Rap    2. Pop    3. Rock    4. Urban   


God Loves Ugly
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (11 June, 2002)
list price: $17.98 -- our price: $13.99
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  • Explicit Lyrics
Reviews (59)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hip-hop in its purest form
Simply put, if you've been turned off to all of the hip-pop garbage of late, this album will make you love hip-hop again. I've heard people use the phrase "life music" to classify atmosphere's sound, and that definition is right on point.Slug's lyrics are hard hitting, down-to-earth (no money-cash-hoes rhetoric), and intertwined with the beats perfectly.You owe it to yourself to give this album a listening to.Pure hip-hop, period.

5-0 out of 5 stars This album is on the top of my playlist!
I've heard quite a bit from this local artist and this is by far my favorite album.Slug shows real depth and the beats are fantastic.Check it out.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sweet
On this cd, Atmosphere starts to get better known, but it doesn't sell out like their worst cd Seven's Travel. Thishas dope beats, lyrics etc. Slug and Ant put a lot of effort into this cd, and it payed off because this cd is sweet. if you are a Seven's Travel fan don't buy this, because 99.9% of the people who liked that cd are Atmosphere posers who don't know Atmosphere's real music. If you are into, Headshots Se7en, Overcast, and Lucy Ford buy this cd, if you arent buy Lil John and the Eastside Boys. Best songs, The bass and the movement, F*@k You Lucy, Hair, God Loves Ugly, Give Me, and One of a Kind. ... Read more

Asin: B000067ULR
Sales Rank: 3277
Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rap & Hip-Hop    3. Underground Rap   


Run Come Save Me
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (18 September, 2001)
list price: $16.98 -- our price: $16.98
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Editorial Review

While the debate rages about why a country as large and multicultural as England has yet to produce a noteworthy MC, Roots Manuva makes a strong case that a contender has arrived. On "Witness 1 Hope" (hands down, the best cut on the album) and "Article," Manuva drops some clever Jamaica-meets-Brixton, patois-inflected rhymes over producer Lord Gosh's otherworldly beats and sci-fi sound effects. Innovative, this album is. Jurassic 5's Chali 2na's thick baritone adds some Left Coast flavor to "Join the Dots" as Manuva waxes about South London life. This release captures a unique snapshot of black British musical tastes with equal parts funk, dub, roots reggae, electronica, and hip-hop. Check out "Highest Grade," a dub pro-weed anthem, and "Sinny Sin Sins," which focuses on Manuva's run-ins with religious types ("Do I need a middleman to link with the Creator?"). This album is for freethinking hip-hoppers who appreciate Outkast and crave exposure to authentically futuristic beats and Afrocentric, avant-garde ghetto rhymes. --Dalton Higgins ... Read more

Reviews (27)

5-0 out of 5 stars Classic, best Hip Hop album of 2001
I cant say enough about how wicked this album is. I'm a caribbean new yorker and visited England in 99 when his debut was released, "Brand New Second Hand". I had heard of him before from Ninja Tune cuts, but his album was over my expectations. I have to big up my brothers in Brixton and other parts of London who showed me much love when I came. I didnt know anyone and they made my trip worth it, unlike the anglo saxon people who walk around London with their nose so high I have to wonder if their head hurts from looking down at everyone so much. Otherwise England was great, Roots Manuva is a great representative of the Black musical scene in London. His contributions to the international stage of hip hop will hopefully rival England's best contribution to hip hop, the Ruler Slick Rick.

4-0 out of 5 stars Inspired though inconsistent
'Run Come Save Me' is a landmark in not only UK hiphop but hiphop in general, as it is very different to anything else you will come across in its whole approach. Unfortunately the incredible songs are the obvious ones - 'Bashment Boogie', 'Witness', 'Join The Dots', 'Sinny Sin Sins' and 'Dreamy Days' - and the other tracks are merely good. If Roots Manuva had made a 12-track album of this quality, it would have been incredible, but at an overlong 17 tracks some of this is down on standard, though there are no bad tracks. Roots Manuva is lyrically acute as on 'Sinny Sin Sins' which sums up the problems with organised religion extremely articulately, and he also crafts some exciting sounds blending his unique, British rapping voice to influences of ragga, garage and Afro-Caribbean sounds, while staying 100% hiphop. It may not be flawless, but he's a major talent who one day could easily make an album that is.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another release your grandchildren will be listening to....
By now Roots Manuva is a household name, also outside the UK. Where I believe he's a real star. And I've had his first record since it was out for like a week. It was one of my first hiphop records and my first UK hiphop record, and it still remains one of my favorite records of all time. This one has been out for a few years too, so it should be old... But this is so tight. And it is on many levels. The beats are incredibly original. They are strange to hear first, but in a few minutes your bouncing in your seat. They whole record sounds jamaican. It's all there: some reggae, heavy dub basses, dancehall vibes. Roots Manuva is also jamaican and your can hear that in his voice. He speaks a mix between jamaican and english. Somehow that makes a really cool combination. He has a deep and rough voice that he flexes troughout the range while he drops his laidback flow. He sounds offbeat at some times, but this man can really flow and drops more styles than your average mc. This whole package brings you classic material. It's not music to play everyday, but in the right mood it's perfect and skipproof. If this was dropped today it could've been really hot, with the whole dancehall, garage hype going on today. Where busta rhymes still busts double time flows over overused drumloops, Roots Manuva has been making the perfect crossover into hiphop for years. There is something on it for everyone. If you are ready to expand your taste, check this. ... Read more

Asin: B00005O7TL
Subjects:  1. Alternative Rap    2. Foreign Language Rap    3. Pop    4. Rap & Hip-Hop    5. Underground Rap   


The Platform
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (23 May, 2000)
list price: $16.98 -- our price: $16.98
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Editorial Review

L.A.'s Dilated Peoples get back to b-boy basics with their long-awaited major-label debut. Longtime darlings of hip-hop's underground, Dilated stays true to their roots with The Platform, combining spare, churning bass hooks with Babu's epic turntable episodes. Guest artists like Tha Alkaholiks, Planet Asia, and Freestyle Fellowships' Aceyalone add fuel to the flames set ablaze by the straight-spittings of MCs Iriscience and Evidence. Buoyantly braggadocious, the fellas swap positive abstract poetics with swagger and grace--rhymes like "I never got redemption from an honorable mention / So my lyrics hug the bat with the tightest suspension" thump chests as much as they feed souls. Their constant boasting is also the album's only setback, as all the self-lauding can, and sometimes does, get tired.--Sylvia W. Chan ... Read more


  • Explicit Lyrics
Reviews (57)

5-0 out of 5 stars I Know my hungers real I still get Nauseaus at shows.....
Super bangin underground release from a then unknown to the MTV watchin so called hiphop fans who think Nelly's the greatest MC to touch a mic. This album plays so smooth, most of the tracks fade into one another. If u got the re-release it has the Erick Sermon remix of "The Platform" which is ok but not better than The Alchemist produced original or The Alchemist remix. Every track is hot, but the ones to check for are the title track,Annihilation,Shape of things to come, Work The Angles, No Retreat, and the Alkaholiks laced Right On. Once again the production is FIRE with heat supplied by The Alchemist,Evidence, Joey Chavez,E-swift, and DJ Babu. Evidence brings nutthin but butter smooth lyrics and mind blowin tracks. While Rakaa(Iriscience)brings tha hottest lyrics of the year, his voice unmistakable and he brings intellectual yet street flows. Babu brings some dope tracks and some ear slicin' scratches. The best tracks are produced by The Alchemist- everything the kid touches turns to gold or platinum ( no PUN intended). I f u aint got this one cop it quickly and get every other Dilated album. SUPER TIGHT.. so dope it should be illegal to sell!

5-0 out of 5 stars Underground Classic -- REAL hip hop
This is a classic from start to finish.Anyone who rates this less than 5 stars has no idea what hip hop is.They are either listen to eminem d12 g-unit and 50 cent and think that their commerical crap, weak production and pathetic lyrics are good or they arent fans of hip hop at all.Anyway, the beats from The Platform have an incredible underground feel to them, and lyrically they all tear the mic up.Not to mention how ill their flow is.The production is top-notch here also.It's hard to select a few tracks as favorites, but i would have to say The Platform, No Retreat, Right On (definitely the best song here, absolute classic), Years In The Making, and Ear Drums Pop.But all the tracks are classic.Make sure u cop this if u haven't already.

4-0 out of 5 stars Some pretty tight beats
There beats and also there Rhymes were better at the beggining there are some pretty sick beats on this album.The Lyrics are also better then average.Nothing spectacular but all for all this makes for a good debut album from LA
Lyrics 8/10 Production 9/10 X Factor 8/10 Classic 8/10 Me 6/10
Overall=49/50 This CD will pick up 4 Mics ... Read more

Asin: B00004SDQ2
Subjects:  1. Alternative Rap    2. Hip-Hop    3. Pop    4. Rap & Hip-Hop    5. Turntablism    6. Underground Rap    7. West Coast Rap   


Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (29 January, 2002)
list price: $15.98
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Reviews (19)

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Fun!
What can I say?The Princess' other albums were amazing, but this one is just one-of-a-kind.Not only are her lyrics brilliant and witty, but this LP is just filled with hooks and great beats.It makes all other rap seem boring and trite.

I heard that her new album should be coming out soon, and I can't wait!

P.S. As if her rhyming/songwriting skills weren't enough, she's also an extremely talented DJ!

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite white rapper!
I like this cd of Princess , it has a lot of cool catchy songs with funny lyrics like "Bad babysitter" & "Keith N' Me" which are excellent,I wonder how come she didn't get more famous , I think she's at least good as eminem, in a more feminine rude version.

5-0 out of 5 stars LOVE HER

She is a super amazing artist, a fun and smash-up smart DJ , and a true D.I.Y. DIVA! ... Read more

Asin: B00005NFK7
Sales Rank: 118633
Subjects:  1. Alternative Rap    2. East Coast Rap    3. Pop    4. Rap & Hip-Hop    5. Underground Rap   

Solesides Greatest Bumps
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (31 October, 2000)
list price: $18.98 -- our price: $14.99
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Editorial Review

Nobody could have predicted the impact these scrawny young upstarts fromsleepy Davis, California, would have on the hip-hop world. Their debut 12-inch in 1993 seemed novel, a track apiece by Blackalicious and Lyrics Born and an instrumental cut-and-paste symphony by DJ Shadow. It took the hip-hop community by storm, though, and the fledgling label was elevated to elite status when Latyrx (Lyrics Born and Lateef) and Shadow dropped their monumental mid-90s debuts. With their rare funk samples and heady, tongue-tying lyricism, Solesides helped jump-start the vaunted independent hip-hop revolution of the past decade. This release presents Solesides' growth and maturation and offers some of their rarest out-of-print and vinyl-only gems, a blistering new posse cut ("Blue Flames"), and a host of freestyles and demos. Other highlights include Blackalicious' "Count and Estimate" and selections from their Melodica EP. Though the core of Solesides record today under the Quannum moniker, Greatest Bumps chronicles a spirit, innocence, and freshness that resuscitated hip-hop. --Hua Hsu ... Read more

Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars OLD-SKOOL QUANNUM
this is the legendary Solesides Quannum Collective at you for the first time..... every track has been purified in a gold chalice and is ready for your soul....... check out Quannum Spectrum, Later that Day produced by L.B., the new remix album of Later that Day commin at you in the near future, Gift of Gab 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up, Lifesavas Spirit In Stone, Latryx The Album, new Joyo Velarde and new Lateef also coming in the nearest future.... keep your ears, heart, mind and soul OPEN, Peace

5-0 out of 5 stars This'll keep you groovin'. . . .
Without a doubt two funktastic CD's of rarer tracks by all the right players, from Shadow on the beats to the rhymin' styles of Gift Of Gab, Lateef The Ill Truth Speaker, Lyrics Born, and others just as crazy. Each track continues to pound you with intensity and amaze you with simplistic complexity. It will take you on the perfect melodic journey that only the best hip hop can achieve. This stuff is REAL, and damn is it GOOD.

If you want DJ Shadow beats, they're here, but don't expect Endtroducing. . .style songs - these are all from the early-mid 90's, when he was rolling with the Soleside Crew, including Blackalicous and Lateef. It's rapping so fast and on you won't believe your ears. Smooth and polished lyrics with that underground, indy-sounding production - unbeatable combo.

For the price, you're getting ten times your money's worth. Buy it, check it, LOVE IT.

5-0 out of 5 stars I've had this album for one day...
(follow from title) and already i reckon ti's classic... i've only had time to listen ot the first disc... beautiful stuff... if the second disc holds up, i'll be most grateful... i must give it 5 stars to prevent it being dragged down to the DREADED "3 and a HALF" STAR level... MWU-HAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAAAA... ... Read more

Asin: B00005086N
Subjects:  1. Alternative Rap    2. Ambient Breakbeat    3. Electronica    4. Hip-Hop    5. Pop    6. Rap & Hip-Hop    7. Trip-Hop    8. Turntablism    9. Underground Rap   


U.S.S.R.: The Art of Listening
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (01 October, 2002)
list price: $16.98 -- our price: $16.98
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars The russian percussion
Vadim a russian producer has served out his latest full lenght album, dark mysterious and very chilled. This is not your average hip hop produced album, it encompasses many influences from classical, funk, reggae, indian all combined with hard hitting drums. He still believes in the art of sampling, not to use so much as loops but in a unique fashion so as to almost always keep you guessing the next bar. his artillery is reinforced with the names of, Gift of Gab, Motion Man, Phi-Life Cypher, Yara Bravo, Slug, Task Force, Plus One, and many more.
if you liked the down-tempo style trip hop of Dj Shadow showcased on Endtroducing then this is a definate must for you.

Do not be narrow minded and think good hip hop can only come from america, it has speard worldwide, and Vadim is producing sounds like a symphony. check it out u won't be disspointed

3-0 out of 5 stars Better live than on CD - 3.5 stars more appropriate
I had a chance to see Vadim with Blurum 13 and DJ 1st rate on 'the art of listening' tour. Trust me when I say that their performance just cannot be transposed onto a disk. Still, this album has redeeming qualities. Vadim's style of blending hip-hop with abstract jazz fused with beats is unique and unparalleled. It's no wonder he's a star of the ninja tune label, along with other well deserving artists (none of which really sound alike except in the most rudimentary sense of being abstract, slightly twisted, hip-hopesque, and heavily beat oriented in the ninja tune style... His music which, at first, sounds very simple and minimal is layered, introspective, and very intelligent upon further examination. This is especially illustrated with his compositions that involve the fusion of beats with stolid, yet subtly emotional, Russianesque soundscapes (as with conquest of the irrational). He hints at this in tracks like 'Ghetto Rebels', but inexplicably leaves the compositions listless and dissapointingly unfullfilled. This album is warm, pleasant, and subtly varied with diverse styles musically and lyrically. Yet it seems somewhat lacking in the moody emotion he is capable of producing. Still, a fair/good effort. Summary- Disk good, live better.

5-0 out of 5 stars Crafty
I bought this album because I dig the Gift of Gab, Motion Man and enjoyed Vadim's "Your Revolution" with Sarah Jones.I was pleasantly suprised at how unique the whole album is.The beats are organic, and the special guests on the album are all fun to listen to.Vadim is crafty with his cuts.If you like DJ Shadow, Cut Chemist, Kut Masta Kurt, and Aphex Twin, this album is a must have. ... Read more

Asin: B00006JKFF
Sales Rank: 53742
Subjects:  1. Ambient Breakbeat    2. Dance Music    3. Hip-Hop    4. Pop    5. Turntablism    6. Underground Rap   


Violent by Design
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (03 October, 2000)
list price: $17.98
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Editorial Review

Laced with intricate voice-samples and top-notch production, Jedi Mind Tricks use a different kind of force to deliver a record that hip-hop heads can't stop themselves from feeling. From the gritty string-laden "Retaliation" to the creepy piano and bass on "Contra," this one is strictly for the streets and the underground beneath. The pianos and guitar on cuts such as "I Against I" provide a mellow contrast to the record's mainly up-tempo pace. But throughout, the stars of the show are the vocal samples, which have origins in everything from vintage television and film to professional wrestling. The theme is total and complete lyrical warfare. Every rhyme is filled with exploding similes and metaphors that are more than complemented by beats that will never see mainstream radio. But the message isn't about drugs and thugs. Instead the themes are of revolution, survival, and overcoming obstacles in the face of an evil society. --Kenji Jasper ... Read more

Reviews (75)

5-0 out of 5 stars Incredible
This CD is incredible, every joint on here is amazing.The beats are mesmorizing and the lyrics are brutal!The sampling from TV and stuff is awesome too.On Visions of Ghandi they sample this album! Thats is just sick, sampling your own music.Every song on there is awesome but 6,12,18 are my fav, i never skip and songs though.This is by far the best hip-hop I have heard.

5-0 out of 5 stars Jedi Mind Baby
if you dont like this cd you dont know hip hop eminem, snoop and dre cant produce beats or rap for peanuts. If they ever listen to this cd i hope they realise how bad they are compared to this awesome hip hop. Jedi mind tricks are the best and the cd is DEFINATLEY worth buying.

If you like rap because of ill beats and ingenious lyrikz then u MUST buy this album and the Psycho Social. They are CLASSIKZ and are on the real-rap-pillar with WU's 36 Chambers. If you don't like this album you should consider switching your music preference to country. AN ESSENTIAL IN A TRUE HIP HOP FAN'S CD COLLECTION.

P.S. You must not download Jedi, every, EVERY song on both of those CDs is ill. Don't dis Jedi like dat. (I download musik and I dont think this about any other artists) ... Read more

Asin: B00004YWNQ
Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rap & Hip-Hop    3. Turntablism    4. Underground Rap   

Return of the DJ, Vol. 1
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (21 March, 2000)
list price: $11.99
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Editorial Review

This collection of hip-hop DJ routines marked the first serious effort to reintroduce the DJ as a true artist to hip-hop fans. In the fog of producer-heavy rap music from the Bad Boy and Death Row camps that dominated listeners' ears in the mid 1990s, Return of the DJ is a refreshing shot of oxygen. It contains outstanding performances--including Rob Swift's classic Biz Markie routine in "Rob Gets Busy"--all from some of the still-burgeoning turntablist movement's most important DJs. Kicking off with Kool DJ E.Q.'s hip-hop primer, "The Death of Hip Hop," the whole collection is an amazing revelation of hip-hop's true legacy, as cut-and-pasted by artists such as Invisibl Skratch Piklz, Peanut Butter Wolf, and the World Famous Beat Junkies. You won't even miss the MCs. --Todd Levin ... Read more

Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars A great start
We've all heard a little scratching in old hip-hop and the very occasional new song, but this CD will blow you away if you're a discerning hip hop listener and if you've ever been intrigued by the DJ. I was introduced to modern turntablism when I heard the Cut Chemist track from this album on the radio one night, and it was worth every risky cent buying the whole CD from hearing that one track. Every one of them is outstanding; pick this up if you're at all interested in hip hop and are a bit percussion-minded.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great mix of turntablism
This is a great scratch cd which encompasses many different types of turntablist styles.This CD is only topped by Vol. 2.Vol. 3 is a bit of a let-down but all three are worth checking out.

5-0 out of 5 stars great to break into dj music
this is a great cd to kind of get a feel for turntablism. great starter. ... Read more

Asin: B0000004FG
Subjects:  1. 90's    2. Hip-Hop    3. Jazz-Rap    4. Pop    5. Rap & Hip-Hop    6. Turntablism    7. Underground Rap    8. V/a Compilations   

Return of the DJ 2
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (21 March, 2000)
list price: $11.99
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Editorial Review

Following their DJ renaissance compilation Return of the DJ, Bomb Records continues its promise of "all hip-hop DJs, all scratching" with Vol. II. This time it's a global thing, representing Holland, Norway, Canada, and the United States coast to coast. DJ Jeff from Amsterdam almost induces scratch seizures with the carpal-tunnel pace of "Change the Scratch." On "Static's Waltz," Canadian DJ Kid Koala slows the show down to molasses, setting what sounds like 15 records at once to incorrect speeds. Other legends, like DJ Jimmie Jam, Z-trip (who marries Run DMC to Black Sabbath on "Rockstar"), and the X-ecutioners' Roc Raida, represent. However, the most impressive composition is Tommy Tee's "Aerosoul," an anthem to graffiti art that paints its canvas with news commentary and samples from the mighty KRS-One. There's plenty of old and new blood on Vol. II to keep your ears pricked. --Todd Levin ... Read more

Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Turntablists Dream
I've been DJing hip hop for around 4 years now and now one single album has influenced me such as this one (also vol #1-3)This album is dedicated to hip hop DJ's and opened the eyes of many as to whats really going on in the underground scene.DJing is one of the four elements of hip hop and is finally back in the open.Tracks like Aerosaul, On Da Flex, and Private Parts are crazy in depth productions.Any true hopper should have this album and for any turntablist, its a requirement!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Return of the DJ, Vol. II
I enjoyed "Return of the DJ, Vol. I" so much, I decided to check out its sequel. Volume II ties DJs from all around the world united with a common theme - a love for hip-hop and scratching. Volume II is as good ifnot better than Volume I. The album is set up like a tournament with DJsrepresenting their hometowns, each trying to outdo each other. Full of theusual DJ braggadacio and scratching to make your head spin, Volume II paystribute to all four elements of hip-hop - DJing, MCing, graffiti, andb-boying. And its unlike anything else, repeated listens unveil more andmore familiar samples with everything from Mortal Kombat to Cypress Hill toA Tribe Called Quest. Impressive tracks are "Change the Scratch"by DJ Jeff, "Static's Waltz" by Kid Kaola, "Aerosoul"by Tommy Tee, and "Rockstar" by Z-Trip. Fantastic representationof a long-overlooked culture.

5-0 out of 5 stars DJ JEff
If that track with DJ JEff was the only good thing on here, the cd would e worth buying. But it's not the only good track...they ALL are! I just picked up this album last night and it's tighter than nuts & bolts! ... Read more

Asin: B0000004FI
Subjects:  1. Pop    2. Rap & Hip-Hop    3. V/a Compilations   

Return of the DJ, Vol. 3
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Audio CD (05 October, 1999)
list price: $16.98
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars return of the dj volume 3
this cd i highly recomend itsphhhhhhatits bugged out it has mad battle scratch megamxes very creative just like the volumes before it but this time dj slynke & his crew do some wicked megamixing andif you didntget vol 1&2 get them also because all the djs truly show whatscratch & megamixing is all aboutthumbsup ! ... Read more

Asin: B0000206BN
Sales Rank: 76760
Subjects:  1. Alternative Rap    2. Pop    3. Rap & Hip-Hop    4. Turntablism    5. V/a Compilations   

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Music - Dance & DJ - Turntablists - Eh...It's all good   (images)

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