In the late hours of the night, Sunday’s to be exact, LA listens to Mike Nardone’s ‘We Came From Beyond,’ a hip hop radio show he’s broadcasted over the last 15 years on KLXU. Concentrating on upcoming local artists, indie imprints from around the globe and underground hip hop in general, his show first commenced in the fall of 1988, still considered to most involved in hip hop to be one of the most integral years in the genre. Back in the East in NYC, through radio shows by DJ Red Alert on WKRS 98.7 KISS FM or by DJ Marley Marl on WBLS 107.5 FM, artists such as Public Enemy, De La Soul, EPMD, N.W.A., Eric B. & Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, KRS-ONE, Biz Markie, and LL Cool J were born. And who could dispute this wealth of talent that carved a world’s worth of classic hip hop. This was the foresight behind’s Nardone’s show, which can be proud to stand today as the first platform to launch other established groups of today, namely Cypress Hill, Jurassic 5, and Freestyle Fellowship.
In 2001, featuring a mostly West Coast ensemble of underground sweethearts such as Jurassic 5, Blackalicious, Dilated Peoples, Atmosphere, and more, Volume 1 to this series gave birth. But in 2003, the millennium shots continue to fire harder with a newer breed of lyricists, DJs and producers, this time representing from all coasts around the country. Volume 2 carries on Mike Nardone’s tradition of highlighting to the listener, the next to come – the freshest kids with the mic on the rise in your area. You may not see these cats riding around your neighborhood in the phat whip, nor would you even see them when you flick on Rap City. But if you switch to MTV 2, or better yet, swing through to the underground spot, chances are with the right timing, you could discover what true hip hop is supposed to sound like. Best of all, tune into WCFB2 and get loose to this free-formatted, payola-free and commercial-less album compilation. These emcees actually bypass the monetary riches their talent could have easily won them in this unconscious industry they continue to strive in. Planet Asia featuring Kutmasta Kurt on “Golden Age” energizes the attack with such a wicked barrage of lyrical power over the looped-funk, he single-handedly clears the way for others to come, making their job much easier to convince pessimists who may have doubts about this album. You’ll definitely experience repetitive head-nodding when rapper Oh No unleashes “What the Fuck”, pushing a raw rhythm he dares you to smile or keep still to. The treats don’t stop here, so don’t switch that dial.
Most of these tracks haven’t even been aired on Nardone’s show, nor are they released as 12″ singles in your local store or on your favorite site. So consider this sort of exclusive, more so than the usual task other compilations just put together proven hits onto a mix-tape. As the onslaught of consciously deep emcees continue to unravel, J-Live fixates on rhyming and making it sound second-nature on “School’s In”, while People Under The Stairs on “Chollo Dad” trace the roots to their Mexican-pimp papa over the album’s most soulful groove. More and more, as each beat enters, the four elements of hip hop seem to be closer within your reach. Whether it’s the picturesque vibe of Fat Albert-humor and cartoon-like stories being told by The Black Love Crew’s creeping “Afro Joint,” which brings back delightful memories of Pharcyde’s early classics, the offerings from others such as Wildchild, Medaphoar, Aesop Rock, Eyedea, Slug, and J-Zone keep us moving. And this is why Mike Nardone is behind such a project – always helping us see talent in accordance with real hip hop before the rest of the world does. Prepare to follow his invaluable lead for another 15 years.
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