Defiant :: Where the B-Girls At? :: Silent Records
as reviewed by Steve 'Flash' Juon

Looking at the front cover, one would initially suspect Defiant to be a rap artist upset with the lack of respect shown toward's women. Flipping over to the back though, what one actually finds is that Defiant is a mix DJ, and his question is more rhetorhical than oratorical. There are some female hip-hoppers and soul singers featured on this album though, which is more than you can say for most gun-toting machismo mixtapes these days.

You certainly can't fault Defiant for the "B-Girls" that he chose to feature on this album. Vinia Mojica proves she is still one of the most underrated vocalists out today with "Sands of Time." Apani B Fly Emcee still reps harder than most MC's of either gender in the underground on her cut "Say What?" Lumidee's "Never Leave You" has been tearing up radio and video for a while now, so it's only a shame that that Defiant didn't use the remix featuring Busta Rhymes and Fabolous. Actually, the song seems to have been cued up a little slow, but it makes Lumidee sound more sensual and sultry, so it's not all bad. And of course, you can't front on Rah Digga's "Party Over Here" - she's still the biggest star to ever come out of Busta's Flipmode Squad. Spliff Star, what? Fuhgeddaboutit. Apparently though Defiant is fronting on Rah, cause he only uses her as a bridge between tracks. Cry foul!

The rest of the "Where the B-Girls At?" is a selection of underground gems and the occasionally well known artist. Defiant is good at seamlessly blending from one cut to the next, although sometimes he seems to sacrifice providing more of the actual songs themselves for the sake of having a pure instrumental for mixing track to track. That's all good when you are moving from Madlib's "Flynn Returns" to Jazzy Jeff's "Love Savior" since both ARE instrumentals. Giving Jaylib only two minutes for "The Red" ain't right though if the song is actually four, and I strongly suspect he's got more to say. It's more annoying when you consider how mediocre "Hustolin" by Lacks is, the song it's blended with. They sound like a bad rip-off of Clipse, with a bad rip-off of a Neptunes track. Yawn. This time, I'm grateful Defiant cuts it short, and surplants them with Pete Rock's "The Hustle."

Overall there's still plenty of tight material on this selection, whether Defiant uses the full measure or just a few bars out of it. Songs like De La Soul's "Much More," Pete Rock & CL Smooth's "Shine on Me" and Five Deez "Hey Young World" remake are not likely to be found anywhere else - and on "Where the B-Girls At?" Defiant sandwiches them back to back right in the middle of the album. Not only does this show Defiant has good taste in abundance, it also shows he has the potential to make what could be the greatest mixtape for lovers of quality hip-hop all time. While it won't surplant some of the classic shit done by the likes of DJ Premier, Ron G and Kid Capri in the 1990's, "Where the B-Girls At?" is certainly a pleasant hour worth of listening material. I'd love to see what Defiant can do when he lets loose on his inhibitions and goes for the all-out smorgasboard of rap - one gets the impression he's just dying to do it.

Music Vibes: 6.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7.5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7 of 10

Originally posted: January 20, 2004