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1 January, 2002@12:00 am

Back in 1995, D&D Project gave us glimpses of future rap stars and had heads rocking to Walkman classics like “The Good Die Young” by Curt Cazal & N’Tense and a few others that were refined hardcore flows from one of NYC’s most famous studios, so famous they had to put it out again. Many times home to some of hip hop’s greatest, on this series seven years after, the distinct focus on maintaining the same underground mindset hasn’t changed. For those nostalgic lovers of the grimy, dusty sound, the dig into this crate of pounding beats and gymnastic emceeing is worth it, but unfortunately only for a few offered here. This album in its entirety is substandard.

On “Say What Ya Want” produced by Arabian Knight, Craig G comes off with a flow similar to Philly’s Freeway, or is it the other way around. One listen to this cut and you’ll be wondering who bit who, because this track is almost identical to Roc-A-Fella’s “Roc The Mic,” obviously the more popular out of the two. Jack Venom’s “Itz Nuttin’” over Domingo’s Meringue styled horn-sprinkler puts the culture of NYC’s Dominican talent on the map for probably the album’s most entertaining and club banging jam. Not at all gimmicky, nor soulfully craving for radio airplay alongside others like Joey Crack and Cam’ron in primetime, this hip hop Latin groove can still get any party started, even though Jack Venom’s chorus begs to differ: “ITZ NUTTIN, 16 droppin’ to da beat man, ITZ NUTTIN, 15′s up in the Caprice man, ITZ NUTTIN to rap about cars and guns, hoes and stars, clubs and bars, menage trois!”

Look out for this cat, Jack Venom, ’cause on any track he handles solo he rips into shreds and even though he’s as hardcore as Mike Tyson off his medication, his other “The Raw” produced by Curt Cazal will have you shuffling straight to the dance floor. Even if you wear a permanent frown, swear your place is posing on the wall or you’re trapped up in jail, his infectious chorus hook chanting ‘Oh Ohww’ rhythmically throughout demands that you “get up and walk now, get yuh money, get moving hop on the horse now!” Trust me, you’ll be grooving to this, even unconsciously.

Outside of the above mentioned highlights and a DJ Premier-produced track, “Love Is Gone” by Jaz-O & Immobilarie that shouldn’t be missed, not to mention the mixshow favorite “How It Soundz”, this LP lacks the production that draws you into even paying any attention to the lyrical attempts from Big Daddy Kane, Guru, Sadat X, and Greg Nice when they come together on “Hot Shit”. Even when Channel Live, R.A. The Rugged Man, Craig G and Agallah join on Kill It”, their deadly force must be clouded from imagining last night’s dream, because they’re shooting blanks over this feeble production. Disappointing beats by Easy Moe Bee, Beatminerz, and even Alchemist lower the expected high standard that this top-notch compilation should have maintained, especially after taking a break for so many years.

  Mixtape D.L.
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