DJ Graffiti :: Bling Free Vol. 2 - Wake Up :: Bling Free
as reviewed by John Book

It's hard to put a critique on a "mix tape/CD", when all it is is a simple compilation of some of the best new hip-hop out there. So how does one judge a good mix?

There's a lot of ways to go with "Bling Free Vol. 2: Wake Up", the new mix from Michigan's DJ Graffiti. First off, song selection. What you want in a good mix is not only what's hot, but what's next. You trust in your DJ to give you the next shit, and DJ Graffiti does this with a wide selection of artists, including Blackalicious, Royce Da 5'9", People Under The Stairs, Talib Kweli, Mr. Lif, and many, many more.

Overall vibe of this? Just look at the title: Bling Free. To this writer, that means quality hip-hop where the egos, for the most part, are in check. The same can be said for DJ Graffiti, whose actual turntable skills are present on this CD. What I also liked about this is that he doesn't shout over every song. I know who you are, you don't need to tell me your name as if this was Kindergarten class, any DJ who does that should go back to school and learn when to shutup. Graffiti's skills are in his DJ'ing and blends, as well as a mind to know what will move people.

A lot of people will not by a mix tape/CD if there isn't some exclusive material, and this CD is not short of the goods. Here, you have brand new material from One Man Army, Obie Trice & Bango, Slum Village, Finale, and Graffiti himself does a little something with MC Lyte.

The mixes are done well, the sound quality is excellent, and it's the kind of mix you wouldn't mind letting your friends borrow... if you weren't too busy playing this over and over. No my brothers and sisters, you have to buy your own.

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

Originally posted: October 31, 2002