Filed under: Albums,Classic Ignorance,Newest Latest,Reviews,Steady Bootleggin',Tragedy Special
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
Not only is every single 80’s and 90’s rapper attempting a “comeback” these days, but we’re also witnessing all kinds of re-issues of vinyl only material and studio outtakes, which could be interpreted as an admission that “OK, maybe our new stuff ain’t so hot – but check this old shit out!” Not that I’m complaining. First off, J-Love’s Streetcore label compiles some quality Mobb Deep winners from the vaults, which comprises of unreleased heaters from all the way back to The Infamous era up until the G-Unit stage. While we don’t get blessed with “Bridge ’94” or “Avirex”, “Everyday Gunplay” and the Tragedy combo on “First Day of Spring” are two prime examples of the supremacy of anti-social QBC ignorance. What’s fucking with this caliber of material right now? Throw these two tracks on, followed by The War Report and some Trag and IMAN Thug team-ups, and you’ve got yourself all you need for an evening of gun-clap rap excellence. Some of the more recent stuff also hits home, as the Alchemist‘s “Backwards” still appeals after numerous appearances as the backing track on various mixtapes.
O.C. is another Queens’ resident who’s recent output has been less enthralling, so it’s only right that he’s released his own Hidden Gems CD, which includes a couple of his early demos and alternative versions of older songs. “Snakes” is a dope demonstration of the O-Zone’s “vocabulary expert” technique, which is top shelf material to even the most mean-spirited rap critic. Frequent collaborator Buckwild has also got a double CD of his many vinyl remixes and whites labels called Diggin’ In The Crates: Rare Studio Masters 1993-1997, showcasing his trademark moody keys, muted horn stabs and sharp snares. His promo-only remix of “You Know Now” flipped the popular Johnny Pate vibes, but Buck’s flip is still the best out of the lot, plus the extra Andre The Giant verse makes this a keeper.
To round things off, a couple of solid “from the vaults” songs from mixtapes are also worth a mention – another selection from the seemingly endless supply of unheard M.O.P smashers, sounding as though it was put together between the To The Death and the Firing Squad sessions, while Nas‘ “Death Anniversary” is entertaining for a number of reasons, some of which are detailed by this noted Nasir stalker. Plus the beat is good.
Mobb Deep – Everyday Gun Play [The Infamous Archives, Streetcore, 2007]
Mobb Deep featuring Tragedy – First Day of Spring [The Infamous Archives, Streetcore, 2007]
Alchemist featuring Mobb Deep – Backwards [The Infamous Archives, Streetcore, 2007]
O.C. – Snakes [Hidden Gems, Next Mill, 2007]
Show & AG – You Know Now (Remix) [Diggin’ In The Crates: Rare Studio Masters 1993-1997, Ground Floor, 2007]
M.O.P – Bang Strong [J-Love‘s M.O.P: The Underground Legends, mixtape, 2007]
Nas – Death Anniversary [The Prophecy 2 – The Beginning of the N, mixtape, 2006]
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