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14 April, 2003@12:00 am

Over the years, it’s been argued that Duck Down and the Boot Camp Clik have fallen off, never truly regaining the status or quality product found on releases such as Black Moon Enta Da Stage, Smif N Wesson Da Shinin’, or Heltah Skeltah Nocturnal. However, despite the fact that hip-hop is constantly changing, the BCC have rolled with the punches and delivered several memorable jams over the years, even if their prime is behind them. With Collect Dis Edition, the crew who can rap but can’t spell collects several of their recent 12″ single joints into one comprehensive volume mixed by Beatminerz’ Evil Dee.

    Like all compilations, Collect Dis Edition is largely hit-or-miss, but unfortunately here there are more misses than hits. Sure, we can’t return to the glory days for the whole album (because today’s audience isn’t even aware of this period), but when they do, it bangs like a classic Boot Camp record should. Check Black Moon on “Rush”, where The Beatminerz once again prove themselves to be born to work with Buckshot, or “The Real”, where producer M-Boogie does any equally good job of matching Buck to track. The main highlights here are the trio of rasta-influenced cuts, each spearheaded by the Cocoa Brovaz. Both “D&D Soundclash” (w/ Afu Ra) and “All Massive” (w/ Ayatollah) are familiar to the 12-inch collectors, and bang with equally classic dancehall flavor on this compilation. Meanwhile, the whole BCC gets together for “Fire Burn”, a smoke-filled session heavy on the blunts and dreadlocks, not to mention an incredible Beatminerz riddim. As some of the more popular (and better selling) tracks from the BCC, this seems like the direction Buck and Dru-Ha should focus on. 

     Among these few standouts, the rest is largely unimpressive. The syrupy “Luv Em Or Leave Em Alone” doesn’t know if it wants to be pimps-up/hoes-down or an R&B flavored track for the ladies. Ruck Of Heltah Skeltah has seen better days than the disposable, gimmicky samples found on both “Tel E Mundo” and “Don’t Say Shit To Ruck”, while tracks like “Smile In Heaven” or Masta Ace’s “Last Bref” have heart, but sleepy production. And the keyboard synth found on Starang Wondah of O.G.C.’s “That’s What’s Up” or Ruste Juxx’s “Mastered The Style” just doesn’t belong amongst a crew that was birthed on hard-rock Brooklyn beats.

Thankfully, it closes with the more back-to-basics “I Realize” posse cut, not leaving the listener feeling totally upset, but it’s evident from the few gems on here that the BCC still have talent, they just need to harness right. Better luck next time around.

  Mixtape D.L.
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