various artists :: Cue's Hip Hop Shop Vol. 1 :: Stray/ADA
as reviewed by Noixe

I used to live in Palo Alto. Granted, I was in 5th grade at the time so, needless to say, I didn't know shit about hip-hop. So I have never heard of Cue's. (If you have more info, hit me up and I'll amend this.) But, from the looks of things, Cue has some connections, enuff to pull together this compliation with many familiar and talented bay area hip-hoppers. As an album, it flows OK, but I think a track by track review would better do this comp justice. So here we go.

1) Me and My Crew-Rasco and Kut Masta Kurt
I don't really like Rasco and KMK's aight, but this is a pretty tight cut. Nothing special, but solid with a pretty tight beat.

2) Cycles Of the Mind-Double Life f/ Raw B
Spacy rhymes over a nice, equally spacy beat. Imagine Black Thought's flow with Gift of Gab's lyrics. Or something.

3) Maintaining Izmatic Degrees-Izm Da Mad Soul
Way the fuck out there. Not really my shit...the beat is a bit annoying and Izm's flow is kinda like a west coast underground version of Dr. Octagon. With less interesting lyrics.

4) Almost Live-Live Human
Quest DJ is my fucking hero. My only objection to this is that the only live instruments you can really hear are the drums. The bassline is way down in the mix and I'm sure there's something else. But Quest is dangerously dope on this track.

5) Not Our House-Sacred Hoop f/ DJ Marz and Z-Man
I've always liked Sacred Hoop...never heard of Z-Man, but despite having a wack ass name, he still comes off from the start.

"When I step into the house dousin out yer beats
piss on the carpet
spellin ghettofied graffiti
vandalism, the party is hot like a potato
burnin down slow like a Garcia Vega"

The beats switch up twice, each one nice, and the song clocks in at seven minutes. Usually long ass songs get boring, but SH pull it off...I'm really feelin this song.

6) Imagination-Antares
This sounds like a Swollen Members cut without the rage or good beats. I kinda like this hook tho, and it uses a Kool Keith sample.

7) DC Niggas Are the Craziest-Big Dame
I believe DC is Daly City. Dame spits over a nice, gangsta-typed beat by Rich Ness. My only complaint is that it's only 2 minutes long.

8) Beats for Days-Rob Swift
Listening to cats juggle never got me open. Even if it is Rob Swift.

9) Peptic Relief-Westside Chemical
Tight beats from a group with a tight name. Gets sorta monotonous.

10) 1-800-Coming Correct-DJ Badrok
Quite dope...starts off with a mess of samples going "huh?" "what?" "yo" "word" etc. Then Badrok rips it up. I like it.

11) Lake Futon-DJ Marz
Another dope DJ cut.

12) Raida v. Mystery DJ-Roc Raida
It's a fake battle...dope concept. Raida starts off with the beginning of Tribe's "Phony Rappers." Instead of the "blah blah blah" part, Raida does some kinda wack cuts, then goes nuts after "...then I came back and just fucked up his head..." Mostly juggling, but much more impressive than Swift's track.

13) Hostage-Third Sight
I hate this song. I don't even wanna talk about it.

14) Wild Red Hot-Quantum Fluf f/ Spaztik MC
Nice shit. Beats (which I really dig) sound like Quanuum, vocals are pretty nice.

15) Judahs Transmission-Mr. Dibbs
I love Mr. Dibbs...this cut is sick.

16) Live At Cue's-Apollo, Vinroc, Shortkut and Richness
Your average DJ orgy.

And there you have it. Not too bad, not all outstanding, but some nice underground shit to listen to. Feel free to cop a copy.

Music Vibes: 7 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 8 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7.5 of 10

Originally posted: November 3, 2000