various artists :: RMHH Volume Two ::
as reviewed by DJ Fatboy

EDITOR'S NOTE: Since both the webmaster of this site and the reviewer in question appear on this compilation; we wanted to be 100% sure no unfair bias was in play. For that reason the editor wrote the section of the review about Fatboy's track & vice versa.

Butter 2000: Flash
Beat is certified dope, no doubt. He wasn't lyin when he kept sayin that his man hooked him up. He also wasn't lyin when he said he wasn't dope over it. But Flash got a cool ass voice, really, and I like the fact that he's takin digs at himself all over the cut. Honesty is a cool policy, I guess, although it can throw people off. His honesty and that ill beat save the track from fast forward.

El Ficus (Ficus Beat): Shawn Allah
I like the layered shit; but I personally think he layered a little too much on there (not sure that the James Brown/PE sample really fits). It's definitely head noddable, and production wise (along with T. Tauri's track) it's probably the crispest shit on here.

Vision of Excellence: Fee
After hearing "this is dedicated to you wack emcees..." I thought this had the dangerous possibility of careening into corniness, but not even close, because the shit talkin increases tenfold right from there, and Fee attacks the track nice. And the beat is hella nice too (no disappointments at all so far on this comp) with it's dope guitar sample, and impeccably timed breakdowns. Only gripe is that it could have benifitted from some trimming down, but delivery and flow is good.

Low Budget Dopeness: Wuz!
No frontin, I love the simplicity of this shit. I wanna remix this shit, add some extra drums and scratches. It bugs me out that he rhymes in a second language, and flips it in flemish, too, and his rhythmic control during that part is hella skilled. I don't know what the fuck he's saying in that part, but damned if it don't flow nice as hell. "Fuckin with me is a Catholic sin, for thou shalt not kill thyself, so chill my friend" although he doesn't quite have the firm grip on the vocal scratches, he's close enough. Weird quirk that made me love the track even more: When he says dooope at the end, it sounds exactly like my old roomate and makes me laugh out loud.

Give Me Your Love: Strategy
Strategy flips a Curtis Mayfield sample lovely, really, with a flavor for blends with the beat. Unlike past tracks, Strategy doesn't get really into the constant blends until halfway through, really - and it's effective. Did you think "It's Funky Enough" and the verbals from "Strawberry Letter 23" would sound that good? He makes it so. Any track that samples Bruce Lee gets a nod from me.

Lauhala: CRUT
The first thing I thought was that this was some 50's beach party rap. I'm picturing John Book in a hawaiian shirt and a flower necklace bustin this shit while his partners rock grass skirts. But really, after awhile, the beat starts to grow on me, and then it switches from 50's beach movie to 50's broadway musical to me...This is definitely some out there shit "I am the Razor that shaves you when you're hairy.." got me laughin out loud, although I don't know if I'll be playing it too much often. I can't deny, though, it's got an odd charm.

Product of Society: Fatboy f/ OCK Crew
Editor's Review: The first time I heard this track, I was worried about Fatboy re-using an old but familiar loop that has been done by everybody and anybody but most notably by Dr. Dre in the N.W.A. days. Thanks to the fact that the MC is skilled in his craft and has excellent flow and breath control; this amusing tale of RUNNIN THANGS in Salem, Oregon is on point. OCK really just provides the hook, but the total package is nice.

Islas: T. Tauri
I love this shit, straight up. I wanna make a short film just so I can have this song running through it. Call me a Tauri rider, whatever, but with this and "RMHH vs. The World" from the first comp, I want a fuckin album. Slow paced and dreamlike, with sublime muted trumpet quotes, this just floats along for seven or so minutes, and it's neither too long or too short. Like I said earlier, this is probably the best sounding cut on the comp.

Da Illout (Remix): I-Phunk
This is some high tempo shit. While for me, not as satisfying as "Coolin in The Mental" still good product. The band is locked into a humpin groove, and breath control and delivery don't falter. Only problem is that the production sounds muddy, but that's probably because of a tape to cd transfer. Whoever's on the organ is killin it. I personally could have done without the female singin at the end, though, but I'm biased towards no singin on tracks unless done perfectly.

Flatliners Theme: A-War
This shit just hits the ground runnin, and I like that. Sounds kinda like Young Zee's younger brother. Every now and then he gets ahead of himself, but he compensates enough. No production credit, which is too bad, because I like the pinging beat and descending bassline and want to find out who did it. Chorus, excepting the "Hide and go fuck yourself" line, is pretty poor, though. Didn't grab me at all. otherwise, dope track.

Illuminated (Re-ignited): A.O.P
Problem 1: the vocals are distorted, recorded too loud, which kinda obstructs the flow this song is trying to get to. Chorus is cool, though, I like how they bounce off each other. The beat changes up enough to keep my ears tuned in, although that "goingggg" noise goes off a little too much for me, but that's nitpicky, aint it? No stutters and stumbles rhythmically, pretty straightforward, but that's kinda offset by the muffled vocals.

Cold Bammer: Knowledge This
This track has a gurgling beat, with the layered shit goin on again to dope effect...a failed freestyle, funny as fuck, definitely. Funniest shit: A little kid (can't be more than 4)yelling for his daddy interrupts the freestyle. The MC busts with "Little ass dude...Wassup yo, You frontin Kid!" I just thought that was the funniest shit, personally. Can't really say too much more, I'll put this on when I need a good laugh.

Oddesi: Shady Characters
I recognize the "fantastic voyage" drum break in there, but he layers his other keyboard funk over it waaaay better and flips it up completely at the one minute mark into a go-go type beat. Funky shit, funkiest shit on here, actually.

Altered Ego: Somewhere Outside Consciousness
Beat, to me, is reaching for eerie and menacing, and just don't quite get there. It just ain't my thing, really. Stop start flow, and the second MC got a better control of the mic, but same thing. No one's really grabbing me here, maybe it's just the beat. Flow seems rushed at times.

I Write Rhymes: Reign of Terror
Distorted bass thumps along, but kinda lays out as the beat kicks in. I like the Rakim sample ("feed me hip hop, and I start tremblin") This sounds more like the mood the last track was trying to find with some dissonant piano hits and string samples. Muddy as fuck though, and distorts out too often. This muhfucka sounds ANGRY, and got a good control over the mic.

Nameless: Mission 5
I don't really like this beat, honestly. The snare ruins it for me. The MC's bounce off each other kinda like a Jurassic 5 type. The second MC's too quiet, though, I can't hear him too well. Both MC's rock a smoother style than the previous MC's. The hook is alright, and I like the horn hits in the chorus.

Planet Rock Medley: Strategy
Closes it out with hip hop classic mixed the fuck up. An even weirder combo this time, Afrika Bambaata and Kurt Cobain and Bone near the end. Blends are all seamless once again and hella nice with the choices. Can't complain at all here.

Overall, a pretty good comp. I dug the shit. Pick you up a copy, for real, partly for the novelty of hearing some posters voices, but mostly because it's a good value for the dollar.

Music Vibes: 7 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7 of 10

Originally posted: November 19, 1999