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5 May, 2005@12:00 am

Compilation release, no rating given

    Whatever happened to the great benefit compilations? From raising awareness of AIDS to helping fight gun violence, not too long ago hip-hop artists would gladly unite for a noble cause. While this may seem like a thing of the past, the Impeach The Precedent compilation is a return to this unification and dedication to creating change—in this case for the environment and our political system.   

    This compilation, being dubbed as the “first authorized” sequel to the 1999 Funky Precedent (Was The Funky Precedent Vol.2 unauthorized?) project, features contributions from both hip-hop heavyweights and suppliers of soul. But what really sets this collection on another level is how the lines between hip-hop, funk and soul often become blurred. 

      And what better way to get the party on wax started than with a fresh blend of modern hip-hop and vintage soul? On the title track, Roy C Hammond and The Honey Drippers’ classic JBs-ish creation is complimented by the precise cuts and turntablism of DJ Shortkut. Medusa’s high-powered link up with producer That Kid Named Miles (“New Definition”) is another first class old-meets-new cut in which old school-influenced break beats are melded with modern, socially vigilant lyricism. Even when things aren’t quite as jubilant, they can be just as affecting. Just take a listen to the meeting of J-Live and Thes One (of People Under The Stairs) on “Give It Up.” On one of his better songs in some time, J makes an uplifting call for everyone to take it easy on Mother Earth. Meanwhile Thes’ funky drum pattern and flute loops rolls along with briskness. 

      Unlike the first installment in this series, this one’s not as hip-hop-centric. But, the roots are still present. Whether it’s the tribal, jazz-tinged rhythms of Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra on “P.A.Z.” or the revivalist funk of the Poets of Rhythm on “Flight To St. Vincent,” this compilation consistently radiates the good vibes of rhythm and soul. While not every track carries quite the same weight or the same direct, socially aware approach, there are a number of remarkable acts featured at the top of their game—and they come through for a good cause.

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