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1 January, 1999@12:00 am

The outlet for this release finds the walkman taking first priority! Save this one for your rides and stereo after. With street appeal more than matching up to the mix-tape status that underground gems enjoy, most of the beats off this release are lovely.  But sometimes the singing chorus-hooks just destroy the effect. When istrumentals, acting as Interludes 1 and 2, it’s short duration teases and prepares one to anticipate a full clip of ammo like “Life” by Sinz Of Reality or “Line Of Fire” featuring KRS-ONE, MC Shan, Godsons, Ras Kass, F.T. (Fuc That), Bamboo, Feel-X, and Sinz Of Reality. By the feel of the former track, the creepy secretion which is laced with eerie synthesizers and an intricate rhythm pattern, the atmosphere is more fitting for DEATH! Any track with Ras Kass’ vocals on it just stirs the most imaginative verses, hence the opening quote. On this track, “Got You Too Hot,” he’s joined by Hurricane G who tries miserably to defend the females, but when Diezzle Don steps to the mic in the last verse, the deciding factor goes to the dawgs. There’s a whistle-infected song that blows this album’s other selections out the frame. “One Time”, by Feel X and J. Getm, is sure to win listeners who are skeptical about newcomers on compilations like this. The light-hearted flow of these emcees just floats incredibly with the added guitars, strumming along for your cruise. Bamboo comes correct on both his pieces, “Not the Ones To Sleep” and From the Get Up,” reinforcing the right tonic for rugged raps in the underground.  His non-bubble gum hooks and are beats composed straight up for the non-radio savy. From the First String Entertainment camp out of Miami, Big Ben explodes over his cinematic and dramatic story-telling on “Unfinished Bizness,” where the pace of this movie-like depiction moves this compilation into a slight theatrical setting. Not very entertaining however, are songs like “Official” and “Watch What You Say” by God Sunz, some horrific chorus-hooks with singing more atrotious than Keith Sweat live! Fellas, if you have to do your chickenheads who sing back-up a favor, take them out to a restaurant or something. Please don’t invite them to the studio. “Sinz Of Reality” by Sinz of Reality also falls into the same category. For those Eminem fans, he’s here on “Hustler’s & Hardcore,” where he and Feel X toy around with their rhyming skills. If you’re into the dusty sound but still need a little satirical humor in your rap tracks, this one is right up your alley.  Even though rapped a bit immature, with too much anxiety and at times, too much energy, Maniac Men possess one of the best tracks on this compilation. “Mecca” is groovy yet the coarse flavor it omits, speaks to the rugged.  With few slip-ups like the above mentioned, this ‘Soundtrack’ to Domingo’s lab isn’t a bad effort at all.

  Mixtape D.L.
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